Drought blamed for bee infestation

May 6, 2011 3:51:06 PM PDT
As drought continues to strangle our area, now there is another dry weather problem that may be headed your way -- bees. The swarming, stinging insects are just as thirsty as everything else. As one Houston woman found out, an available water supply can lead to a huge problem.

This bee hive is one of the biggest exterminators have seen in the last few years. Thousands of bees took over the woman's garage, and without our help, she would still be living in fear.

Augustina Williams is battling cancer and if that's not making life hard enough, she's also under siege inside her own home.

"Especially in the kitchen area," she said. "I don't go in there if I can help it."

There are tiny tormentors keeping Williams on guard. She says sometime in the last 12 months the buzzing kept growing from her garage and soon after, the stinging started. Williams tells us getting rid of the bees has been impossible.

She said, "We had called, and people wanted like $400. Where am I going to get $400 on a fixed income?"

So we called professional exterminator Claude Griffin and suited up to help remove the bees.

"Now I know why she could not sleep," Griffin said. "These little sons of a guns are trying to get in the attic."

Within minutes, Griffin found an eight foot tall honey comb embedded in the garage wall and surrounded by 200,000 bees.

Griffin said, "We have some new combs, we have some old combs and then we have some new combs and it is going to be triple layered."

The reason these bees chose this home is simple. The washing machine drain line has a leak. Griffin says giving the insects a constant water supply near your home during a worsening drought is an open invitation for a bee infestation.

"There is really no water right now and they are going to do anything they can to survive, just like I would, you would or anyone else would," Griffin explained.

After removing all honey combs, Griffin uses a vacuum cleaner to suck up the remaining bees and after a few hours Williams has her home back.

"I really do appreciate it, I really do," she said.

Exterminators tell us if we do not get significant rainfall in the next few weeks, bees will be going from yard to yard searching out sources of water and if the bees find a permanent water supply, they will move in very quickly.

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