Houston woman’s truck becomes magnet for thousands of bees

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by Drew Karedes

KHOU 11 News Houston

Posted on March 26, 2013 at 3:27 PM

HOUSTON -- Bees are vital to crops, but you probably don’t want them in your personal space. That’s what happened to a woman in northwest Houston who was dealing with thousands of the unwanted guests.

Gwen Gayden went to bed on Friday night and woke up on Saturday to an unexpected and alarming sight.

An estimated 8,000 honey bees had attached themselves to the front left tire of her truck. Gayden figured the bees would eventually disperse if she waited patiently.

After days of waiting and phone calls to several agencies, Gayden didn’t know what to do.

“I was afraid that the bees would attack and also, we have lots of kids in the neighborhood,” said Gwen Gayden. “I’m afraid to even open that door!”

KHOU 11 News reporter Drew Karedes called a bee expert for advice. He gladly offered to come and help Gayden.

“You don’t know what’s going to happen. You don’t know if you’re allergic to bees. It takes 500 bees to equal the venom of a rattlesnake bite,” said Michael Sexton, ‘The Pest Guru’.

Sexton said bees fill themselves with honey throughout the winter, and often times, colonies become overcrowded by spring. That’s when swarms are often out looking for new homes.

He said the maroon color of Gayden’s pickup truck is a magnet for insects.

“If she would’ve drove off, it would’ve disturbed those bees,” explained Sexton.

Sexton geared up and moved in to round the bees up in a cardboard box.

“Once you start messing with them, they can start swarming,” he said, beginning to put the bees in the box.

Sexton gently scraped as many as he could into the box. He was able keep much of the swarm intact with their queen. A number of other bees dispersed into the air.

“I’m just happy they’re gone. I thank you guys so much. I’m relieved,” said Gayden.

Sexton left the northwest Houston neighborhood to find the bees a new home -- one further away from people.

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