High-altitude honeybees relocated from St. Paul's

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Bill Owens removes wood as he gets to a honeybee hive in the roof of the parish house at St. Paul's church.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Bill Owens removes wood as he gets to a honeybee hive in the roof of the parish house at St. Paul's church.

Master beekeeper Bill Owens found his Friday assignment to be a lofty challenge.

“They probably just moved in sometime this summer,” he said of a honeybee colony discovered in the historic parish house at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Augusta.

The challenge was getting to the bees’ entrance point, nearly 30 feet off the ground near the century-old building’s roofline.

With the aid of a long extension ladder, hammers, a prybar and assistant Jacob Hall, the siding around the colony was removed, and the bees were carefully collected with a portable shop vacuum.

“It’s pretty simple,” said Owens, owner of Georgia Bee Removal, based in Monroe, Ga. “You just vacuum up the bees and you have a wire basket inside, instead of a dust bag.”

The honeybees, which had already begun to manufacture honey in the eaves of the church building, will be taken
back to the Monroe area and placed in a hive.

Owens was brought in after church members began to notice the insects flying in and out of the building, said St. Paul’s member Dick Manning.

In addition to providing honey and beeswax, honeybees also play a critical role in plant pollination and are essential to many forms of agriculture. The honeybee was designated in 1975 as Georgia’s official state insect.

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keeanzia 07/14/12 - 09:47 am
Yikes! Ouch!

Yikes! Ouch!

SheilaJ15 07/14/12 - 10:29 am
Save the Honeybees!

I don't think most people realize how important honeybees are. I have been a vegetable gardener for the last 10 years & know how important they are to gardens--they pollinate your plants which in turn helps to produce your vegetables/flowers. True gardeners plant plants throughout their garden to attract honeybees to the garden. Basil is one of the most attracting plant to honeybees. I use to find honeybees all over my basil. I never hurt one and they never hurt me even though I would work right beside them on the basil. I just made sure I didn't disturb them & they never bothered me since I left them alone. For the last 2 years I have noticed no more honeybees in my garden! People are now using so much insecticides on their plants that the bees are taking the insecticides back to the hives and in turn killing all the bees in the hives. Honeybees are going to be extinct if we don't start doing something differently in our gardens. Please look into alternatives to protecting your garden other than insecticides or we will have no more honeybees. Go organic. There are plenty of organic solutions that will take care of your pests in gardens other than insecticides and at the same time will not kill the bees.

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