School Closings & Delays

The Buzz in Blakely: Swarm Infests House

BLAKELY — People in part of Lackawanna County say it’s….un-“bee”-lievable. Part of a duplex is full of honey bees and now the challenge is to get them out of there and to a safer place.

9-year-old Shawn Warwick had just taken his first swimming pool plunge of summer vacation on Monday when a swarm of bees made him jump out of the water and run inside.

Shawn’s mom Sarah took pictures of the bee colony swarming out of a crack in the back wall of 103 Third Street in Blakely that backs up to houses on West Lackawanna Avenue.

“It looked like the house was made out of bees! We heard the bees buzzing from inside the house, it was crazy,” Shawn said.

On Tuesday morning our Newswatch 16 cameras found only a few honey bees buzzing around the chimney. But neighbors said, for the last week, they’ve come out in volleyball-sized swarms for about two hours in the afternoon.

People who live in the properties surrounding 103 Third Street got in touch with borough officials to see what they could do. It’s not a service the borough usually provides, getting rid of bee hives. But the borough manager said, since it affects so many people, he would try to take care of it.

Blakely Borough Manager Tom Wascura checked out the colony for himself, and being no bee expert, he called on someone who is.

The bee expert wants to watch the vacant apartment house to see if the colony moves on its own. If not, Blakely may be stuck with the bill for removing them. Wascura said the property owner can’t be cited until the bees are gone and the building is inspected.

“If it’s an emergency and a safety issue with the neighboring residents, we will look into it, and if we can do something, we will and we will take the expense,” Wascura said.

According to borough officials, bee experts think the bee colony may be looking for a new home. That’s why they’ve been swarming outside the house. That would be the ideal situation. If they don’t move, they’ll be taken out of the house but not killed because bee populations nationally are shrinking.

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