Austin 'Bee Czar' helps rescue bees living in abandoned Martindale house

An Austin bee expert who's often called the "Bee Czar" says after a neighborhood dog was killed by a swarm of bees this weekend during an unsuccessful bee removal in Martindale, law enforcement invited him to help.

So we followed him as he removed -- or as he calls it "rescued" -- some bees from a house down the street from where that happened.

"The bottom line is this area is very conducive for honey bees and it's bee season which means that the bees are gearing up to send out colonies very much like England sent colonies out to start America," said Walter Schumacher with the Austin-based non-profit, American Honey Bee Protection Agency.

Schumacher says local law enforcement asked them to come take care of the problem because the last bee expert didn't get the job done.

"They got here and apparently what happened scared them very much and endangered the public," he said.

Schumacher says it's important to rescue bees because of all the plants that feed us, bees pollinate most of them.

"You're looking at if the bees collapse, about 90% of our food disappears in a matter of 8 months," he said.

Schumacher's bee-keepers suited up and went inside.  He says once they got in there and opened up the wall they realized the bee hive is probably about 4 years old.

"Somewhere between 50 and 75,000 bees," according to Schumacher.

His team smoked the bees out and removed each honeycomb and put it into a bee box.  Then they vacuumed the rest of the bees.

You'll notice Schumacher isn't wearing a bee suit.  He even scooped bees into his trap with his bear hands.  He got stung when a piece of drywall fell onto his arm.

"I figured out a long time ago that the bee suit would kill me quicker than the bees would so I learned how to not be afraid of the bees," Schumacher said.

So what now?  The Bee Czar says he'll take the bees back to the non-profit's ranch and put them back with their honeycomb.

"And then we'll feed them and try to get them to heal the hive because we're cutting their hive out of a wall and then we'll ask them to make honey with us and to stick around for awhile," he said.

We sent Schumacher and his beekepers in with a 360 degree camera.  Be sure to check out the interactive experience.

Watch a 360 degree view of the rescue on our YouTube page: FOX 7 Austin

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