United States

Rancho Peñasquitos Neighbors Upset Large Bee Colony Was Killed

The bumblebee population dipped nearly 90 percent since the 1990's in the U.S.

A man in Rancho Peñasquitos said he is heartbroken after he tried to get a bee colony removed and ended up finding the insects dead. 

Mark Eckman said on Thursday he found a bee hive inside a cable-provider lawn pedestal on Paseo Temporada . He said the honey bees were not aggressive but the hive was close to the ground. 

"There are a lot of little kids that walk on this sidewalk and I was worried they would get stung, so I called animal services," said Eckman. 

Eckman said he called city and county animal services, however, since the hive was inside a private company's property, they both told Eckman to call the company. 

"I said we don't want them killed," said Eckman. "The woman on the phone said they would do a safe bee removal. I interpreted that as safe for the bees but I guess that's not what she meant." 

When Eckman came back, he said the hazard removal person told him they were not licensed to move live bees and had to spray to kill them. 

"I'm heartbroken," said Eckman. "They weren't aggressive. They were making a home. We know how important bees are to the environment and agriculture." 

By Friday, almost all of the bees were dead with their honey comb cracked into pieces.  

"I almost wanted to cry when I saw that," said Eckman."I feel guilty, like it's my fault they died." 

But Eckman said he would like to see clear guidelines online for what to do when there is a bee hive in the neighborhood. 

The United States federal government put bumblebees on the endangered species list for the first time in 2017. 

According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife, the bumblebee population dipped nearly 90 percent in distribution and abundance since the late 1990's. 

Bees are important pollinators of many fruits, vegetables, seeds, and other foods that we eat and use in everyday life.

The wax from bee hives is also used in many products like moisturizers and make up. 

According to the University of California Beekeeping in San Diego County webpage, 

According to the University of California Beekeeping in San Diego County webpage, it is the responsibility of the property owner to remove a nest of bees on private property. 

The website goes on to say if the property owner does not want the bees harmed, there are some pest control companies that will perform live bee removal, and there are also local beekeepers who are interested in removing swarms while alive.

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