Bee Handler Advises Public on Early Bee Season
DONNA – An early start to bee season has handlers on high alert and urging people to be extra cautious.
Six city employees in Pharr were injured in a bee attack last month.
Hidalgo County resident David Gorena said he learned about it firsthand while cleaning his backyard.
“I was going to move the barbeque pit later on and when I did move it, it was rusted out at the bottom and it fell to the ground. And when it did I heard this buzzling noise this loud buzzing noise,” he explained.
Gorena said he was able to call a handler to sagely remove the bees from his home.
We reached out to professional beekeeper Luis Slayton, of Donna. He said he’s received around 30 calls this past week to remove bees.
“We’ve actually been in swarming mode for about two weeks already,” he said.
Slayton said bee season started much earlier than expected. He said it might’ve also been due to the mild winter season the Rio Grande Valley saw.
“We had all the native brush start blooming in February, which causes the bees to be more active,” he said.
Slayton said they’re trying to get the word out before people run into a similar instance like Gorena’s.
The expert said people have the common misconception of calling 911 for bee hive removals. But Slayton said the cleanup should be left to handlers.
He said first responders will only be able to help those who received injuries from the bees.
“If there is a bee hive in your property or in your wall, the fire departments are not going to be liable for any damages done to the structure, and they’re not pest control so they can’t use chemicals to kill the bees. So, you’re pretty much on your own,” he said.
Slayton said people should be extra cautious while doing yard work. His organization can be reached at http://beeinstitute.org/home.