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Number of bees in El Paso is multiplying, experts say

The number of bees in El Paso is multiplying, experts say.

The number of bees in El Paso is multiplying. Beekeepers and exterminators tell CBS4 the number of calls they've received about bee infestations is going way up.

Omar Martinez with Fulcrum Pest Control spent his Monday morning exterminating bees at a Kern Place home, and it wasn't his only call of the day.

“It really becomes a personal safety issue,” Martinez said. “We're getting about five per day right now, roughly, for bees, and bees in trees and bees in walls.

Martinez said the number of bees in El Paso is rapidly increasing.

Last week, CBS4 brought you inside a Far East El Paso home infested with one million Africanized bees.

“Four out of five calls [we get] are honey bees looking to pollinate,” Martinez explained.

We have calls all day long for bee swarms,” said Michael Duchouquette, a founding member of the Paseo Del Norte Beekeepers Association. “We have been seeing an increase in any type of colony by 2,000 bees a day.”

The Paseo Del Norte Beekeepers Association said this increase happens every year as the temperature rises.

“It's not out of the ordinary, this is typical,” Duchouquette explained. “But I do think we had an unusually warm winter.”

Both bee experts CBS4 spoke with said bees are a protected species.

“Bees are super important to the environment,” Martinez said.

So how should you decide whether to exterminate or relocate the hive?

“When you have one that's invaded the walls and the ceiling of the house, it becomes difficult for the homeowner and for us to decide at what point are the bees worth saving? Because you have to demolish walls to remove a hive,” Duchouquette said.

“We cannot get rid of them just because a customer calls and says they're on my bushes. They have to pose a danger,” Martinez said.

The Beekeepers Association tells CBS4 that sometimes beekeepers can remove easily-accessible hives for free, but says sometimes the cost can be anywhere from $200 to a $1,000 for more difficult hives. The beekeeper also says if you don't get it cleaned up afterwards, the honey will attract insects and even mice.

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