(April 23, 2003) -- Two days after Easter celebrants at El Dorado Park riled a swarm of bees (and 26 people were stung), LB Health Dept.'s Vector Control was busy criss-crossing the city, eradicating hives and swarms of bees all over town...including three swarms/hives in ELB.
Lamar Rush, Supervisor of LB Health Dept.'s Vector Control, told LBReport.com that on April 22 alone, his office eradicated large numbers of bees in the 3100 block of Marber Ave. (ELB, swarming on a parkway tree, "almost solid bees"), 5200 block Lanai (ELB), Whaley Park (Los Altos South, in a post), the 100 block of west Health (NLB, water meter box on curb) and 2400 block Earl Ave. (Wrigley area, tree low to ground),
Mr. Rush says this was modest. During the summer, he's often twice as busy, with roughly a dozen bee calls per day.
LB Vector Control is part of LB's City Hall-operated Dept. of Health. Its web page (link below) says "Vector Control Specialists protect the public health and safety by providing vector control services and education to the citizens of Long Beach. These services include control and elimination of insects and rodents that can transmit diseases, and education on how to control them."
A vector is "any insect or arthropod, rodent, or other animal of public health significance capable of harboring or transmitting the causative agents of disease (e.g., plague, malaria) to humans. Under exceptional circumstances, insects or other arthropods that cause human discomfort or injury (no disease) are sometimes referred to as vectors."
Bees, flies, fleas, mosquitoes, rats, red imported fire ants, and other stinging insects are vectors...but Vector Control is not a private extermination service. It deals mainly with pests on public property...although Mr. Rush said they will enter private property to deal with mosquitoes, a special concern because of their ability to transmit serious diseases including West Nile Virus.
LB Vector Control has a useful informational web page, which can be viewed by clicking LB Vector Control Info
It has a page devoted specifically to Africanized bees, which can be viewed by clicking Africanized Bees/LB Vector Control
And LBReport.com has put a permanent link to City Hall bee info on our front page -- www.lbreport.com -- below our top stories, next to the Readers' Email tab. Just click on the picture of the bees for quick access.