Source AP ©

Beekeeper to solve Texas University problem

A colony of up to 100,000 bees have taken up residence in a classroom building of a Texas university. The University has hired a beekeeper to coax out the cluster.

The University of Houston commissioned the beekeeper to evict the bees and their honeycomb on Wednesday and move them to a serene home on a wooded part of campus.

Although no one has reported being stung yet, school officials said they could not take any chances.

"You can imagine - you're trying to take your exam and for whatever reason the bees decide they're going to swarm," said Alex Alexander, the university's director of custodial and grounds. "That kind of disruption we couldn't allow."

Workers first noticed a cluster of bees buzzing near the top back corner of the building about six months ago, Alexander said. They tried spraying the mass with water, and soon enough the bees disappeared.

But when honey started drizzling out the brick wall, it became abundantly clear the bees had not gone far.

Enter beekeeper Mike Knuckey, who specializes in removing bees from homes and businesses. Knuckey plans to use a sensor to find the hive. Then he will drill holes into the wall and insert a camera to measure its shape and size.

After removing the bricks surrounding the hive, he plans to pump in smoke to disorient the bees and vacuum them into a mesh-walled box so they can be carried to their new home.

He will then cut out the layers of honeycomb with a long, thin knife, trying especially hard to preserve the cells containing eggs.

The bees and honeycomb will head home with Knuckey so he can set them up in a beehive box, feeding the insects sugar water so they can start rebuilding their hive right away.

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