Family gets help to rid neighborhood of aggressive bees

CREATED Jul 27, 2011 - UPDATED: Jul 28, 2011

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Reporter:  Jessica Chapin

TUCSON (KGUN9- TV) - Aggressive bees are still threatening Tucson neighborhoods.  The city has seen three attacks in three weeks and one of them was deadly.  A hive remains active near Kolb Rd. and Speedway Blvd, where one family is trying to scrounge up the resources to take it down.

For two years, a hive in a local tree has been crawling with bees, and growing.  Bob Sherwood's mother lives in the home but is on a fixed income and can't afford to pay exterminators.  She's been stung three times.

"They were pretty scary," said Sherwood, "And that's just one bee sting at a time.  I just can't imagine, I don't know if she'd make it through a complete attack."

He can't pay for the removal either, an estimated $200 to $300.  He fears for neighbors as much as for his mother.  Joseph Hoxie, another senior citizen, lives two houses down.  He's seen them flying near his home.

"I don't want them to come into my house like they have some people's," said Hoxie.

Tucson Fire Capt. Trish Tracy says the city can't take responsibility for private property unless they're called to an emergency.

"when it's on private property, the owner of the property is responsible for anything they see on their property," she said, "whether it's household maintenance type things or there's a hive of bees up in your tree."

Organizations including the Pima Council on Aging and Interfaith Community Services say they don't aid exterminations. 

"The bees are becoming quite a problem," he said, "and I'd just like to see someone pay a little more attention to it, see what we can do."

9 On Your Side reporter Jessica Chapin explained the situation to bee removal service representatives at Adkins Bee Removal.  The company came out on Thursday and removed the bees at no charge.  Several generous Tucsonans have also contacted 9 On Your Side, offering to pay for the removal.

Tracy says her best advice for anyone else in the situation is to contact the experts directly to get advice about managing the bees or payment plans.