Massive beehive finally removed after weeks of resident concern

September 2, 2015 Jaime DeJesus
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Bees invade Bay Ridge.

For nearly two weeks, residents near 81st Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues had to deal with a massive beehive that was hanging above the middle of the street. Despite many attempts by residents to have it quickly removed, it remained on the block.

While the hive was finally removed by the 68th Precinct at around 2:30 p.m. on Monday, September 1, many residents – however elated over its removal – were left wondering why it took so long and so much work to get it removed.

“I have no idea why someone hasn’t come here to take it down,” said Linda D., who lives just a few houses away from the tree that housed the hive, just hours before it came down. “I know a bunch of people called 311. Last week, everyone on the block was outside staring at it. People will be very devastated if that falls on someone, then it will be too late.”

Neighbor Bernard A. agreed.

“I would really like them to talk it down. My neighbors called Councilmember Gentile’s office,” he explained. “Soon after, officers looked at it and said that it could only be removed first thing in the morning or late at night. That was nearly two weeks ago.”
“It looks like the size of a beach ball,” added resident Ramon R. “And that it’s ready to fall. It poses a hazard to kids playing on the block. I’m definitely going to stay away from that. I’ve never seen anything like that in Brooklyn.”

Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann explained the lack of results. “When someone calls 311 about the bees nest, the Parks Department says it’s the city’s responsibility to take it down,” she said. “We got several calls from people that were really worried. It’s the largest beehive I’ve seen.”

According to Beckmann, Parks should take a greater responsibility. “What I find concerning is that the Parks Department plants trees but do not have a beekeeper or someone that can handle these streets,” she said, stressing that she decided to take action by reaching out to local cops. “I reached out to Captain Raymond Festino of the 68th Precinct to request that NYPD Emergency Service Units respond to remove the beehive. Festino quickly responded and we greatly appreciated his help.”

“Parks has no records of removal requests from this location,” said Parks spokesperson Maeri Ferguson. According to Parks, the city does not accept requests to eliminate bees or wasps from residential, commercial, or public property. Residential and commercial property owners are required to remove most wasps and bees from their own property.

Looking forward, Beckmann believes something needs to change. “If there is an issue on a city tree, it should be the Parks Department that responds if it’s a tree maintenance issue. 311 said it was [Parks’] responsibility to hire someone publicly. I was surprised to learn that it was not.”

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