Berks County beekeeper helping neighbors with colony removal

The constant buzzing of this Bernville backyard would make a lot of people turn away, but for Bruce Rodriguez, the buzz is music to his ears.

Video Transcript

- If you have a fear of bees you might want to steer clear of Berks County right now. The area, as you can see, is getting swarmed by honeybees, much to the delight of a local man. Action News reporter Beccah Hendrickson introduces us to the very busy beekeeper.

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: The constant buzzing of this Bernville backyard would make a lot of people turn away.

BRUCE RODRIGUEZ: I was stepping somewhere she didn't want me to be.

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: But for Bruce Rodriguez, this is music to his ears.

BRUCE RODRIGUEZ: I read every book I could find and watched every documentary about bees, and I just learned about them my whole life. I just love bees so much.

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: The Berks County beekeeper cares for hundreds of colonies.

BRUCE RODRIGUEZ: Anything under an hour, I'll go to collect them.

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: Many of them are bees he's helped remove from someone else's yard.

BRUCE RODRIGUEZ: Right now, from April till about July, is reproductive swarm season. So that's when all the honey bee colonies that lived over winter are becoming very overpopulated, and they just want to divide.

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: He says this is also when they're docile and not likely to sting.

BRUCE RODRIGUEZ: I wouldn't come this close without protection if it was August or September. They would not tolerate that.

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: They're looking for somewhere to live. He helps direct them.

BRUCE RODRIGUEZ: They're set up to bait a swarm to move in to them rather than someone's home.

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: He's also saving their lives. As bee populations are decreasing worldwide, Bruce is preserving their habitats. Like this old tree that was being chopped down.

BRUCE RODRIGUEZ: About 50 feet up in the air on the tree.

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: One of the jobs Bruce is working on for a family is to get the bees safely out of this crate. A hole was left unplugged, so the swarm moved in, and he's trying to lure them into the box above.

BRUCE RODRIGUEZ: Put into this little syringe and run it in there, and then I can take the barrel back to the people.

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: It's a help to his neighbors--

BRUCE RODRIGUEZ: I just laugh about it.

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: --and the environment, too. Not to mention it's a pretty sweet hobby. In Bernville, Berks County, Beccah Hendrickson, Channel 6 Action News.