MOUNT VERNON — Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it also may have caused more than a few bee stings.
A beehive in Apple Valley was recently tipped over, causing more than 100,000 bees to be disturbed from their home, and, quite possibly, making life a little dangerous for the perpetrators.
“It’s like pulling the pin on a hand-grenade. You’d better be able to run,” said local beekeeper Shirley Fletcher. “The problem is, bees will outrun you.”
“Sometimes, kids will be curious about bees and knock over a hive to see what will happen. It’s not a very good way to explore your curiosity. I guess some kids have to learn the hard way,” said beekeeper Brian Farmer.
The 4-foot tall and 200-pound beehive was apparently knocked over by a couple of neighborhood youths. It took Fletcher and Farmer just a few minutes to sit the Langstroth frame hive back up, but it was dangerous work as the Italian bees were still swarming and mad.
“It stirs them up and puts them in a defensive mode for several days. Anyone just wondering around the hive, they may sting,” Farmer said.
Once the pair got the hive set back up, they had to assess the damage. Fletcher said they may have lost up to 60 pounds of honey. An even bigger problem was the queen bee. Instead of being in the bottom portion of the hive where she normally lives, the queen was on top of the hive.
“We had to smoke her down,” Fletcher said.