A hive with about 75,000 bees was found Tuesday in a demolition zone near South Florida’s affluent La Gorce Island, putting a 24-hour halt on the razing of a millionaire’s waterfront property, an exterminator said Wednesday.
“It delayed the demolition, because if you start knocking that building down without exterminating those bees, the bees will get very aggressive,” according to William Sklaroff, an exterminator known as Willie the Bee Man.
Property appraiser records show the bee-riddled home in the Miami Beach area is one of three side-by-side properties bought earlier this year by Wayne Boich, a millionaire tied to a Columbus, Ohio, coal/energy company.
Boich reportedly plans to knock down all three homes to build one large estate.
The hive was destroyed Wednesday in the 4700 block of North Bay Road, Sklaroff said. Demolition workers were forced to stop the destruction of the home until Sklaroff’s north Miami-Dade company killed the bees and made conditions safe again, Sklaroff said.
The state Department of Agriculture wants the extermination of all wild bees, Sklaroff said. It is a way of ensuring the aggressive Africanized variety isn’t inadvertently spread to other homes in the area, he said.
No injuries were reported. The 75,000 bees that were found were “a normal amount” for a hive, but they still were a danger, Sklaroff said. He said the Miami Beach neighborhood where the hive was found “is known for beehives.”
“People need to be aware of their surroundings and check their property several times a year,” he said.