Fond du Lac firefighter removes 100,000 bees from tree

Courtesy: Rosalie Otto

FOND DU LAC - There has been quite a buzz at one Fond du Lac house recently.

Over the weekend, a firefighter removed more than 100,000 honeybees from a tree on Rosalie and Al Otto's property.

The bees had formed two large pods to protect their queens. The Ottos noticed the bees flying around their yard and called the police when they saw the pods.

The police, in turn, called the fire department. Fond du Lac firefighters are trained in bee keeping for emergencies like this.

Firefighters told us the bees aren't usually aggressive, but removed them because this is a well-populated area.

The Otttos still have a small pod of the honeybees in their tree. The fire department said it's small enough to stay. If the hive grows much larger, it might need to go too.

"I simply cut the branch. On the second hive I didn't even have a hat on or a hood," explained Fond du Lac Fire Lieutenant Todd Shippee. "I simply took them down and set them in the hive. I even showed them right to the homeowners, the different bees. We were this close to each other. I set them in the hive, closed them up."

"I learned an awful lot about honeybees this week! We have had bumble bees and that around before, but nothing like that!" exclaimed Rosalie Otto, laughing.

Shippee told us he relocated the bees in the countryside. He said because honeybee populations are dropping, firefighters avoid killing the insects if they can safely remove them.