McAllen Fire Crews Respond to Bee Hive in Man's Yard

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MCALLEN – Bees swarming near a McAllen home make it impossible for a resident to be outdoors.

Tom Van Matrey tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS he has been stung multiple times all over his body. He says he has not cut the far left corner of his yard in three weeks.

“When I turned by that fence there. That's when they attacked,” he says. “All three times. (It) doesn't feel very good. One or two is OK but when you got a swarm on you, it doesn't feel very good.”

On Tuesday, he had enough and asked us for help. So we called the McAllen Fire Department.

Crews responded as a courtesy to a citizen in need of help and the three-by-two-foot hive was doused with water and bagged.

“Attacks generally happen following somebody cutting the grass or weed-eating,” says McAllen Fire Deputy Chief Gerald Williamson.

Luis Slayton, a commercial beekeeper of 10 years, says it will be later this year before the Rio Grande Valley will start to see more swarms bouncing back from the winter season.

He says any hives seen now are ones made last year.

The unusual 2018 cold season pushed bees from migrating, says Slayton. New hives, he adds, will not be made until late next month.

Williamson says anyone who does run into a hive should not take it down. The safest option is to call an exterminator.

Slayton says if a swarm is attacking anyone, the best advice he could give would be for the person to run into a car, blast the AC and open the window.

He advises leaving enough room for the bees to escape. He says the drop in temperature will flush them out.


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