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Bee Swarm Lands On (Another) ELB Home in South of Conant Area

(June 29, 2001) -- Shortly after 9:00 p.m., Jason Ferrier pulled into the driveway of his ELB home near Bellflower Blvd. and Wardlow Rd. and noticed an unusual shadow on the outside wall. On taking a closer look, he could hardly believe his eyes.

A large, thick, teeming swarm of bees, nearly the size of an automobile tire, was on the side of his Marber Ave. house.

Mr. Ferrier phoned the LB Fire Dept. which dispatched a fire truck, then said it wouldn't deal with the bees since they were on private property.

Mr. Ferrier managed to locate a professional bee exterminator, who donned protective gear and cautiously approached the swarm.

[If you can view pdf files, you can see a moonlight photo showing the exterminator with white protective gear on his head and arms and the bee swarm above his portable light beam. (The image was too low light to scan in .jpg format). After viewing the picture, click on "Back" on your browser to return to this article. To see the pdf picture, click here.]

ELB bees (2) After the exterminator applied an insecticide, bees began falling from the wall. Photo (left) of dead bees shows how large the swarm was; over half have fallen into a heap on the ground.

The exterminator estimated the swarm contained 5,000-8.000 bees and included a Queen. He couldn't say (without expensive testing) whether the swarm involved aggressive "Africanized" bees or the more docile type but said he handles about 30 calls a week and about one per week turns out to be the Africanized variety.

The exterminator said he was receiving more calls this year than last year. In 2000, numerous bee swarms were spotted and removed from areas throughout LB. ELB, with considerable greenery and parkland, was especially hard hit.

Last year, just around the block from Mr. Ferrier's home, a large bee swarm was exterminated from a residence on Chatwin Ave.

The area is within walking distance of two pre-schools and Burcham Elementary School.

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