Saturday, July 09, 2005

Church Has 1 Million Bees, Honey in Walls

KNOX, Pa. (July 8) - One could say that St. Mark United Church of Christ is bee-deviled. The church in Clarion County, about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh, has been infested with bees in its walls for about seven years. The church tried an exterminator and that didn't work. Now the problem has gotten so bad that honey oozes through its walls.

The church has hired McCool's Wildlife Removal of Rocky Grove to remove the honey, seal the damaged walls — and relocate an estimated 1 million bees to a local bee keeper.

Eric McCool, who owns the business, said it typically takes about a day to remove bees from an infested building, but the church is so badly infested it will take three or four days.

The bees aren't crazy about the move. McCool has been stung more than 100 times this week.

"I ended up going to the emergency room. Even though I'm not allergic, any time you have a large amount of venom, you have a toxic reaction," McCool told The Derrick of Oil City for Thursday's editions.

Church maintenance man Lee Stroup said the congregation plans to worship as normal Sunday.

"We've never had to hold church elsewhere. We'll have church this Sunday," said Stroup. "We just wanted them gone so no one gets stung."