FOX 8 Defenders: Jefferson Parish declares bee-infested home a nuisance

Updated: May. 29, 2019 at 2:39 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Parish code enforcement said Wednesday it is seeking a warrant so that officials can go in and deal with a bee problem in Avondale which residents say is getting worse by the day.

There have been signs of progress in the 140 block of Helen Dr. The parish has cited the owner for maintaining a home now being declared a nuisance, but the overall problem persists.

Children play outside trying to avoid bees and wasps from the house, but a bee stung 5-year-old Dynasty on Tuesday.

Neighbors called FOX 8 out two weeks ago about what appeared to be a swarm of bees, coming into and out of the house, which has been vacant for two years.

Now, they say the swarm is on the move.

Jefferson Parish has called in bee experts to assess the situation.

“The bees in the house are established. They’re bringing back pollen. Property management is trying to get us inside to determine how big the nest is and the best recovery for the honeybees,” said bee expert Thomas Hartfield.

But getting in the home is a problem.

“We have to get a warrant to go in. It’s still private property,” said Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni.

Contrary to popular belief, bee populations in the area are plentiful and bee handlers in this area say they have been quite busy.

“We are ridiculously busy, and all the beekeepers we work day and night,” Hartfield said.

Parish officials may come and spray the home to kill the wasps, but to get to the bees they must get inside.

“You just can’t go in their and pick out a queen, you have to recover the hive, as a whole,” Hartfield said.

Residents just want the problem to go away.

“Get rid of them. We need to get them gone,” said neighbor Andrea Matthews.

In the meantime, the absentee homeowner is facing a number of fines.

Yenni said code enforcement hopes to gain access to the house by the end of the week to deal with the bee and wasp infestation.

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