The buzz of a swarming infestation

Netcare 911 paramedic is not competent on the scene of many accidents, but he has been removing unwanted bee swarms from buildings for nearly 40 years too.

After a local school reported a buzzing infestation, none other than local paramedic, Chris Botha offered his expertise.

The Netcare 911 paramedic is not only competent on the scene of many accidents, but he has been removing unwanted bee swarms from buildings for nearly 40 years too.

Growing up on a farm, Chris admitted that 90% of his learning was done through experience – which proved a painful process the majority of the time.

“I think it’s something you just have in you or you don’t,” said the paramedic and bee fundi.

Many buildings are built with insulation factors in mind. The insulation gap between a double wall serves as the perfect place for bees to call home, as they create their bee hive where thousands live and fiercely protect. Sharing your school building with a swarm of bees – or four in the school’s case – can prove potentially dangerous, as the large number of children over the years along with their sweets and sugary cool drinks nearly always come into contact with the feisty creatures.

“Apart from the risk of a bee making its way into your sugary foods or drinks, where it can sting you, causing your windpipe to swell and render you unable to breathe, there also remains the worry that some of the many pupils suffer from a known or unknown bee allergy,” said the bee fundi.

The bees aren’t the only problem when a hive is formed. Both wax moths and wax beetles are some of the pests known to also call the structure their home. These pesky creatures pose a threat to all wood they come into contact with, as they drill and bore into it. The honey produced often attracts ants which can be detrimental to your building.

“Nowadays bee hive removal has become far more tricky than before,” explained Chris.

“In the past, bees would be fumigated and hives cleared out. With the growing awareness of the importance and shortage of bees, I now not only remove the hive but also rehome the bees and their hive in a safe area where they can thrive unharmed.”

With four different swarms to deal with, their removal from the school building won’t be a one day job. Having started the process, Chris will devote more of his time – away from school and work hours – to clear the grounds of the sweet honey harvesters.

 

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  AUTHOR
Holly Konig
Journalist

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