Base civil engineers respond to sticky situation

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Pedro Huertas, a bee keeper from BeeGreen bee removal, removes a honey comb from a bee hive located behind the Airman's Attic on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif, May 23, 2019. (Air Force photograph by Giancarlo Casem)

The 412th Civil Engineer Squadron responded to an urgent call regarding a bee infestation on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., May 23.

“We got a call from the people here at the Airman’s Attic about a swarm of honey bees that was causing some concern,” said Lee Manning, 412th CEC, Pest Management Coordinator.

As a base pest management coordinator, Manning is tasked with evaluating options to eliminate pests that could cause harm to Team Edwards members as well as base facilities. The initial estimate with a bee keeper put the number around 80,000 bees with the hive.

“We came out and evaluated and found that it might be a better option to relocate them instead of eliminating the bee population because they play such an integral part of the environment,” Manning said.

An estimated 100,000 honey bees inhabit a bee hive behind the Airman’s Attic on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., prior to being removed May 23, 2019. (Air Force photograph by Giancarlo Casem)

The CEC hired BeeGreen, a local bee removal company that specializes in all-natural removal methods. The final count after the hive was removed was higher than the initial estimates.

“There was around 80,000 to 100,000 bees with this hive; probably one of the most massive ones I’ve dealth with,” said Pedro Huertas, BeeGreen bee keeper. Huertas said he was able to capture about 90 percent of the bees, but due to the stress, some of the bees do die.

The removal job took around two hours to complete and yielded 100 pounds of honey comb. More importantly, Manning and Huertas both said the area around the Airman’s Attic, especially the drop-off box behind the building, is once again safe for Team Edwards.
 

Pedro Huertas, a bee keeper from BeeGreen bee removal, removes bees from a hive behind the Airman’s Attic on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., May 23, 2019. (Air Force photograph by Giancarlo Casem)