Tony Duva wasn’t happy about sharing his backyard with bees.
"The longer you stand here the more aggressive [the bees] get," said Duva, looking over his neighbor’s fence where the bees live. "I think it’s a big safety risk."
Duva, who lives in Miami-Dade County, says the bees showed up a few months ago and have gotten worse. He says two of his lawn workers went into his backyard to fix a broken pipe and were attacked by the bees.
"He and his helper ran around all the way to the side of the house and they chased him all the way into the garage," said Duva of the attack. "One got bit five times, one got bit three times."
Duva was concerned that the bees could attack again and hurt someone who was allergic. And as a kidney transplant recipient, Duva worried about his risk.
"I don’t know what would happen with the drugs that I have to take now,” he said. "It could cause a lot of problems for me."
According to Duva, he spoke to the homeowner, who didn’t live in the home, after the incident and was assured the bees would be gone.
“He was very nice on the phone and he said that he was not aware of it, that he would take care of the problem,” Duva recalled. “A few weeks went by and nothing happened.”
Duva contacted the homeowner multiple times after, but never heard from him again. He then turned to Miami-Dade County, searching for answers.
“I called 3-1-1. I talked to them,” he said. “They said that they really couldn’t do anything about a bee problem.”
That’s when Duva decided to reach out to NBC 6 Responds for help.
"I figured even a phone call from you guys might wake the guy up," he said.
NBC 6 Responds called the homeowner and was told that the problem would be taken care of. Duva reported seeing fewer bees since the call, but claimed the problem wasn’t completely fixed.
NBC 6 Responds also called the county. A spokesperson said residents can report bee problems to 3-1-1 or to code enforcement directly. Now the county is planning to make sure all 3-1-1 staff knows how to respond to those complaints.
Armed with that information, Duva filed a complaint with the county. A county spokesperson tells us they sent out an inspector to the property, who determined the beehive had been removed. The county still issued the homeowner a warning for junk and trash on the property.