• 50°

Work begins to remove bees at Catawba College

The buzz just won’t stop at Catawba College.

First, the relentless buzz forced a relocation of the school’s graduation. Then, local high schools moved graduation ceremonies out of Keppel Auditorium. And Pops at the Post, which takes place June 6, is looking for another venue to use in case of rain.

Now, Catawba College is calling in outside help to rid the auditorium of a bee infestation that’s lasted multiple weeks. The school has contracted with Animal Control Experts LLC — a company with offices in Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Greensboro — to help remove swarms of bees from the Robertson College Community Center, which includes Keppel Auditorium, according to an email from Catawba spokeswoman Tonia Black-Gold.

Black-Gold said the school has already contracted with local beekeepers to collect three swarms — each including thousands of honeybees. Animal Control Experts will route the bees out of the building and into bait boxes, then seal up the building to prevent the bees from returning. Black-Gold said the procedure would cost the school $30,000. It’s the same amount of money as the lethal option, she said.

Catawba President Brien Lewis said comments from members of the public have overwhelmingly asked the school to remove the bees humanely. Lewis said members of the public were mostly concerned about the bees following an initial announcement that the school’s graduation would be moved, rather than any sort of inconvenience.

“Our goal was to do things the right, proper and most sustainable way,” Lewis said.

Lewis said the school initially thought the infestation was a minor problem when it began — before graduation. When the swarming continued, Lewis said the school decided to take additional measures.

The work by Animal Control Experts is expected to take two to three weeks. A part of the work will be sealing the top of the Robertson College Community Center. After the company wraps up its work, Black-Gold said the school would receive a two-year guarantee that the bees wouldn’t return.

The infestation, in addition to already canceled plans, will also require the cancellations of several dance recitals and a benefit dinner for Novant Health.

Tuesday was the first workday of Animal Control Experts’ job. Representatives of the company were installing mesh on outside vents to prevent the free-flow of bees in and out of the building. The number of bees was considerably diminished when compared with previous swarms.

The company could be finished installing all of its equipment by the end of the week, according to company representatives. A longer period of time will be required for the bees to be trapped in bait boxes and later be removed from Catawba.

“We feel good about our solution and think our public will too,” Black-Gold said. “One small step for us humans, one giant leap for beekind.”

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

 

Comments

Local

City officials differ on how, what information should be released regarding viral K-9 officer video

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls are 3A champions

Lifestyle

High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Local

With jury trials set to resume, impact of COVID-19 on process looms

Legion baseball

Book explores life of Pfeiffer baseball coach Joe Ferebee

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education to receive update on competency-based education

Business

Biz Roundup: Kannapolis expects to see economic, housing growth continue in 2021

Business

A fixture of downtown Salisbury’s shopping scene, Caniche celebrates 15th anniversary this month

Local

Slate of new officers during local GOP convention; Rev. Jenkins becomes new chair

Landis

Landis officials narrow search for new manager to five candidates; expect decision within a month

Lifestyle

Together at last: High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools sorts out transportation logistics in preparation for full-time return to classes

High School

Photo gallery: Carson goes undefeated, wins 3A state championship

Nation/World

Europe staggers as infectious variants power virus surge

Nation/World

Biden, Democrats prevail as Senate OKs $1.9 trillion virus relief bill

Nation/World

Senate Democrats strike deal on jobless aid, move relief bill closer to approval

News

Duke Life Flight pilot may have shut down wrong engine in fatal crash

News

Two NC counties get to participate in satellite internet pilot for students

Local

PETA protesters gather in front of police department

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Eight new COVID-19 deaths, 203 positives reported in county this week

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Two charged after suitcase of marijuana found in Jeep

Crime

Thomasville officer hospitalized after chase that started in Rowan County

Local

Board of elections discusses upgrading voting machines, making precinct changes

News

Lawmakers finalize how state will spend COVID-19 funds