North Fort Myers resident concerned over fate of bees in neighborhood

Reporter: Stephanie Byrne
Published: Updated:

Al Young calls Moody River Estates home. He said he has lived there for about four years. But he is not alone. Young is surrounded by neighbors and his service dog, Ruger. There are also smaller creatures who also moved in: bees.

As a retired service member and member of law enforcement, he said his neighborhood’s management company told people living there that they have to exterminate the hive that may be inside a column.

“I’ve been spending my whole life protecting those who can’t protect themselves,” Young said. “When we saw that, I said, ‘No, this can’t be. We’ve got to get a more ecologically sound way to handle this.'”

Dr. Joyce Fassbender, an entomologist who teaches at the department of biological sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University, said these are honey bees and they play an important role in our environment.

“They are pollinators, which means that they pollinate crops,” Fassbender said. “They pollinate our native flowers and that allows those flowers to make seeds and then spread further.”

Fassbender warns that the bees are not particularly harmful unless you damage their nest. That form of intrusiveness can result in a bee sting.

Young now said the company will hold off on extermination to see if it can relocate the bees and hive instead. But that will depend on whether the hive has stretched into the column and structure.

“Well, I’m still on edge about it,” Young said. “In fact, I plan to go up there almost immediately, so I can actually view what they’re doing.”

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