Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Help Me Howard: Bees
If a swarm of wild bees landed in your neighbor's yard, you would hope they would get rid of them before someone got hurt. But we live in South Florida, so of course the neighbor didn't do anything. Someone got stung, and so they had to bring in Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser to find out if it's legal to have a beehive in a city.
WSVN -- Luma Bugarin, Afraid of Bee Hive: "I don't like that so much."
All kids are cute. But some are just cuter than others.
Luma Bugarin, Afraid of Bee Hive: "I have a big memory. My dad tells me that all the time."
The Bugarins have two children: Luma and her little brother Caui.
Daniel Bugarin, Wants Bee Hive Removed: "[Caui] was recently diagnosed with autism, so we needed a bigger space to work with him."
Part of Caui's therapy includes being outside, so this summer Daniel and his wife moved to this townhouse in Coconut Grove.
Daniel Bugarin, Wants Bee Hive Removed: "So it was a relief and excitement to be able to move to a place like this that had an outdoors."
But the first time they walked outside, they saw an unwanted sight.
Daniel Bugarin, Wants Bee Hive Removed: "And we noticed there were bees right on the fence."
A hive of honeybees on their neighbor's side of the wooden fence, living inside a box.
Patrick Fraser: "You can't go outside?"
Luma Bugarin, Afraid of Bee Hive: "Uh-uh, not even a tiny little bit, if there is one bee."
Honey bees can get you if you don't know what you are doing.
I used to have a few honey bee hives.
They've never paid attention to me, so I was able to stick the camera right up into the opening to see a healthy, thriving hive.
The bees didn't care.
But buzzing bees bother most people.
And they would be a danger to Daniel's children. So he went and explained it to his neighbor.
Daniel Bugarin, Wants Bee Hive Removed: "My biggest concern is my son, because I don't know how he is going to react to a bee stinging him. Being that he has autism, he might start screaming or jumping, and they might all just attack him."
Unfortunately, Daniel's neighbor wasn't concerned about the bees.
But he agreed to let Daniel's property manager pay the $350 to remove them. So a pest control company was called out.
Daniel Bugarin, Wants Bee Hive Removed: "And said there are a lot of bees in that box, and that it is a danger and a threat."
But before the pest control guy could go to work, Daniel's neighbor, who happens to be an attorney, pulled a document out of his pocket.
Daniel Bugarin, Wants Bee Hive Removed: "The agreement says if anything goes wrong, he can sue, and we have to pay attorney fees and everything that goes with it."
The pest control company refused to sign the one-sided document, the honey bees stayed, and a few days later, Daniel's wife was outside.
Luma Bugarin, Afraid of Bee Hive: "There was like a big noise attacking, so some bees got in my mom's head. She was doing like this."
Daniel Bugarin, Wants Bee Hive Removed: "My wife starts screaming and I run out, and she has got bees all over her."
The bees stung Priscilla.
At that point, some people would say enough is enough, lean over the fence with some insecticide, and go to work. Not Daniel.
Daniel Bugarin, Wants Bee Hive Removed: "I am not that type of a person. It's his property, and I don't want to invade his property."
But Daniel realizes it's not safe for the bees to stay. But Howard, can you force a neighbor to get rid of a hive of honey bees?
Howard Finkelstein, 7 News Legal Expert: "Yes you can. If the bees stop you from enjoying your property, legally, they become a nuisance. If your neighbor won't remove them, you can go to court, but the easier thing: Send them a letter putting them on notice that if anyone gets injured, they will be responsible."
I then called Daniel's neighbor twice. He didn't return the calls.
I sent him two e-mails; no response.
Daniel then wrote a letter, putting his attorney neighbor on notice that he had a dangerous bee problem and needed to remove the hive.
But Daniel never had to deliver the letter. The next day, his neighbor hired someone to come out and remove the bees. They are gone, and Daniel's neighbor had to pay for it.
Luma Bugarin, Afraid of Bee Hive: "Thank you, Help Me Howard."
The removal of the hive made Luma and her family happy.
Daniel Bugarin, Wants Bee Hive Removed: "Very excited."
Daniel's neighbor never returned our messages. Instead, Daniel says he called him with a much better attitude.
Daniel Bugarin, Wants Bee Hive Removed: "Bascially, he re-analyzed everything, and he had changed his mind, and that he was going to cooperate and get the bees removed."
Patrick Fraser: "If you have a problem with a neighbor that's not taking care of their property, first, try to work with them like Daniel did. If that doesn't work, call code enforcement. They may have a law on the books that can help resolve your problem. Fortunately, we didn't have to bug code enforcement this time."
A swarm of problems created a buzz in your life? Tired of being stung? Contact us. You don't need to call us 'Honey,' but we will try to sweeten things up for you.
CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org (Please include your contact phone number when emailing)
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