CAPE CORAL, Fla. – Homeowners on Southeast 3rd Avenue are relieved to see a huge beehive gone. They say the bees were a bother.
“They are the biggest hives I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Cape Coral resident Colin Venuti.
“It wasn’t like a normal bee, he was mad. Got in my hair and then he stung me and it hurt,” said neighbor Lavina Sanderson.
Keith Councell, President of the Florida State Beekeepers Association, says he’s seeing more bees buzzing out of citrus groves into urban areas.
“The pesticide levels are so high,” he said. Councell is talking about pesticides used in groves to fight citrus greening.
“We are not putting bees in citrus groves anymore because they are trying to save their crop and by doing what they need to do would hurt our bees,” he said.
Councell says chemicals can even effect their behavior.
“A lot of the chemicals cause the bees to swarm,” he said.
According to the Florida Department of Agriculture, Florida’s citrus growers and bee keepers are facing serious threats to their livelihoods.
“We are spending more now, protecting our bees from those ailments, then what we ever did before,” he said.
This year, a Florida citrus grower paid a $1,500 fine for not properly using pesticides.
Professional bee keepers say they are taking steps to protect their bees from pesticide spraying.
“It’s all about communication between the bee keeper and the citrus man,” he said.
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