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Bee removal services stay busy as swarm season begins

Posted at 4:15 PM, May 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-15 17:51:04-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Matt Winstead with Midwest Bee Removal doesn’t consider what he does work.

“If you love what you do, you never have to go to work, and I play with bees,” Winstead said.

Before playing with thousands of bees, he finds them using a thermal camera. 

“So we can see the bees through the walls,” he said. “We know exactly where they're at; there's no guessing. There's no poking holes.”

After prying, his favorite part of the job is seeing the colony, uttering his three favorite words: We got cone!

In this particular colony on Tuesday, there were roughly 40,000 honeybees.

“When I open it up and I see all that they built and all that they've done, it's like opening up a Christmas present because there's artistic look to it,” Winstead said. 

But this isn’t the largest amount of bees the Midwest Bee Removal team has seen.

“There was a bee semi spill on I-35 two years ago and released over 2.1 million bees in the atmosphere,” Winstead said.

The team was able to save more than 400 colonies. 

“Bees pollinate most of the fruits and nuts we eat, and a lot of the vegetables as well, so we need bees,” he said. “We need to take care of them. We need to save them.”

Once bees are removed, they are moved to bee farms. 

Winstead said honeybees are harmless unless provoked.

One way to prevent a colony from happening in your home is to make sure hollowed structures are insulated. 

“If it's stuffed full of insulation, there's no bees that'll be able to move into it,” Winstead said. 

If you do already have bees, the faster you act, the less cost in damage it can be. 

“The cheapest, best, easiest thing any homeowner can do is just go around their house every year with a four dollar tube of caulking and just caulk up holes that they see,” Winstead said.