UNT bee colony being relocated this weekend

UNT bee colony being relocated this weekend

Credit: WFAA

Bee experts are removing hundreds of thousands of bees from a building on the University of North Texas campus this weekend.




Posted on May 21, 2011 at 11:03 PM

Updated Sunday, May 22 at 12:41 AM

DENTON — Millions of Denton County honey bees slated to be killed have actually saved their own lives.

Some of those bees thrived for nearly two decades on the University of North Texas campus in Denton, but this year, something changed.

Back in March, we first told you UNT's plan to remove three to four million bees living in a brick wall at the school's Radio, TV and Film building.

"They sawed into wall, removed the brick," explained university spokesman Buddy Price.

And that's exactly what is happening this weekend. The bees, the hives, and even parts of the wall are coming out.

One of the colonies has been there for 18 years; the other, nearly three years.

The university had been willing to let them stay until they started getting aggressive.

"There were concerns about leaving them here because literally thousands of students walk down the sidewalk every day," Price said.

UNT had been planning to exterminate the colonies; then they found something that saved the bees' lives.

"They investigated and realized there was damage to the building, so they had to remove them, and remove them safely," Price said.

Well-protected beekeepers are using a vacuum to capture the bees, which will be given to local beekeepers, where they can recolonize.

The bee removal procedure will continue on Sunday, so several buildings and a parking lot on campus may still be closed off.

Everything should re-open on Monday, but repairs to the building's wall will take two weeks.

E-mail amcnew@wfaa.com