Residents of a neighbourhood in Florida have complained about having to wash their cars each day as bees from a nearby apiary keep polluting their estates with faeces.
Inhabitants of the Willow Lakes RV and Golf Resort, a gated community for people aged 55 and older in Brevard County, said their living conditions have deteriorated after a honey farm started operating in June 2022.
Kitty Grenier told WKMG News 6: “It’s a nuisance. We’re all just overrun with bees.”
Kitty deplored that she and her husband were confronted with numerous honeybees flying around as soon as they stepped outside.
She also explained that there would be many dead pollinators anywhere on their estate every day.
Referring to what is described by the regional broadcaster as a “sticky yellow substance the bees leave behind”, Kitty said: “It’s bee poop. I’m sorry folks, but that’s what it is.”
Her husband Richard added: “Every single day, I have to go wash the car. If the bee droppings stay there more than a day, it’s very hard to scrub it off.”
Richard complained he had to buy an unlimited membership at the local car wash due to the bee excrement.
Their neighbour David Dell said: “Our patio is covered, and that’s after power-washing it. We can’t sit outside.”
Nathaniel Jester, who operates the apiary in the crossfire, is adamant.
Speaking to WKMG News, he argued: “How do you know that they’re my bees? You don’t. And neither do they.”
The head of Jester Bee Co., which is based in the small town of Mims, criticised: “The old people across the road don’t care about the environment, don’t care about pollinators, don’t care about pollination, don’t care about bees. They only care about themselves.”
Honey farms in Florida feature between 400,000 and 650,000 colonies, according to research by experts at the University of Florida.
This puts the state in the top three in the United States in this regard. Only beekeepers in North Carolina and California are in charge of more colonies, a survey by Californian gardening service provider Lawn Love has shown.
University of Florida spokeswoman Meredith Bauer emphasised: “Total revenues for Florida beekeeping operations in 2020 were estimated at USD 93.36 million (EUR 86.61 million, GBP 73.93 million).”
She added: “Employment in the Florida beekeeping industry in 2020 was estimated at 2,437 workers during peak season.”