ASHTABULA, Ohio - Hazel O'Neal and her family have been dealing with a potentially hazardous neighbor for more than 3 years, an active nest of bees are embedded in the vacant house next to her Ashtabula home.
O'Neal told NewsChannel5 one of the bees stung her 28-year-old grandson, causing a medical emergency.
"He's highly allergic," said O'Neal. "He was unconscious by the time the paramedics got here. He has a very severe reaction."
O'Neal said she tried to contact the owner of the vacant house on numerous occasions, hoping he would hire someone to remove the bees, which have set-up a hive near the homes chimney.
"I did write him a letter, and I spoke with him while he was here. But I got nothing," said O'Neal. "I'm really concerned about the safety of my family."
The NewsChannel5 Troubleshooter Unit contacted the owner of the vacant house. We discovered the home is owned by the son of WEWS sports broadcasting legend Gib Shanley.
Mr. Shanley was very receptive to our phone calls, and allowed 5 On Your Side to bring in the Ashtabula County Bee Keepers Association to safely remove the hive, and give the bees a more appropriate home.
Ashtabula bee keeper Duane Bannister estimated the hive is made up of 40,000-50,000 bees.
"This year, so far, 257 times I've been stung," Bannister said with a grin. "Worst day this season, I had 43 stings in one day, but it doesn't seem to affect me."
Bannister explained it's been a busy summer for the Ashtabula County Bee Keepers Association, the group founded in 1889, has been responsible for 27 bee retrievals in the past two months.
Association President Mary Alice Bannister explained the importance of safely removing honey bees, without destroying them.
"In order for us to have our food and our grain, the bees have to pollinate it," said Bannister. "The bees pollinate the flowers so our live stock will have something to eat."
The bee keepers association told NewsChannel5 it will have no issues removing the hive living next to the O'Neal home, and plan to the job on Saturday.
"As long as we can get the queen, they'll follow her, and we'll transport them out of here," said Bannister. "We'll put them in a nice white hive, and they'll get a new home out in Jefferson."
O'Neal thanked NewsChannel5 for its effort in this case.
"You guys called me back, and you brought this wonderful team of experts with you," said O'Neal. " Now I won't have to worry about my grandchildren, and they can play in the yard in safety."
Medical information on how to treat bee stings can be found on this website .
Leads on finding a bee keepers association in your area can be found here .
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