Catawba is working with local beekeepers to
relocate the displaced bees.
Catawba College is contracting with Animal Control Experts (ACE) to provide a non-lethal solution to the College's honeybee issue in the Robertson College-Community Center. Bee removal efforts are set to begin on Tuesday, May 26 and are expected to take between 2-3 weeks to complete. The College is collectively committed to resolving the issue without harming the bees.
Catawba has already worked with local beekeepers to collect three swarms (each containing thousands) of the honeybees and relocate them. Honeybees swarm when the hive has grown so large that they don't have room to join it. The hive is located on the upper level of the college-community center and the bees are entering the hive, located behind the brick façade and in the concrete block interior, through a small seam in the brick exterior. The College recently placed live bee traps atop the building, but the traps have only been marginally successful in reducing the number of swarming bees.
The non-lethal solution costs tens of thousands of dollars and requires that the College cancel events scheduled to take place in the building during late May and early June because the displaced bees may swarm and pose a danger to visitors. These events include several dance recitals and a patrons benefit dinner for Novant. The Rowan-Salisbury School System opted to cancel their high school graduations scheduled for the college-community center of their own accord, relocating each ceremony to the respective high school.
The College believes that this proposal is the best for both bees and humans. This non-lethal proposal costs the same as the lethal proposal, but it takes 2-3 weeks to complete, rather than the 1-1.5 week long lethal removal solution. It involves installing custom honeybee excluders that will prevent the bees from returning to the hive once they depart. A beekeeper who works with ACE will be on hand throughout the process to relocate the displaced bees to new hives. After all of the bees are removed, ACE will seal the 2,100 sq. ft. top area of the college-community center and provide a 2-year guarantee that the bees will not return.
The College hopes that the upcoming Tar Heel Girls State and Boys' State events will be able to proceed with their events in the college-community center as planned, but will be monitoring the situation closely.