Neighborhood Abuzz Over Bees

Thursday, December 8, 2011 - 1:21pm

Massive hive on foreclosed home has many worried.

Residents in one Port St. Lucie, Florida neighborhood aren't thrilled with who's taken up residence on their block, and they hope something gets done before someone gets hurt.

People come from blocks around to see what's happening at 441 Baoy Avenue.

The buzz is literal, as thousands of bees have taken up residence in and around the garage of the abandoned property.

Rick Pagan worries about the children who run up and down the street.

"There's probably on the weekend, 20 kids at one time. I'm just afraid one of them is going to get hurt," said Pagan.

As she drove by, the mail carrier said she's allergic to bees and is extra careful when driving around.

"What is the city waiting for, for someone to get attacked by the bees for something negative to happen to make a positive move?" asked Rick Rodriguez, who lives across the street.

Port St. Lucie spokesman Ed Cunningham says if a hive is on private property, the property owner is supposed to take care of it.

In cases where the owner can't be found, or if it's a public hazard, the city will step in.

"We no longer try to figure out if they're Africanized or not. The state says most colonies are sufficiently Africanized to create enough of a problem so they recommend if it's in a populated area, that people go ahead and eradicate it," said Cunningham.

Just last month the city did have to get involved after bees from a hive attacked a man working in his yard.

It was Eileen Wietchy who found Lewis Peters Jr. on the ground after he was stung several times.

Wietchy saw the hive fumigated, but claims the bees are still around, making her a prisoner in her own home.

"A few of the neighbors are concerned and they won't go out because of the situation with the bees that they were afraid of getting attacked," said Wietchy.

Peters, who was 58, died just before Thanksgiving.

Neighbors aren't certain it was due to the bee attack.

Wietchy said the city was supposed to remove the tree that contained the hive, but it's still standing.

"It is scary, there's a lot of the older people and a lot of the snowbirds coming down for Christmas," Wietchy added.

Back on Baoy Avenue, the 3 foot by 2 foot honeycomb is visible evidence of a very sticky problem.

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