Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Thousands of bees were removed from a vacant house in Atlanta after neighbors said they lived in fear of the insects for several weeks.
Residents living near the empty home said they first started noticing bees swarming around it in the spring, and the number of insects had been gradually increasing ever since.
"I"m afraid to come out the house sometimes," Matthew Sease, who lives next door to the house, told WGCL-TV. "I never went by the house because I was afraid of the bees and getting stung."
A bee removal service hired by the property owner arrived Thursday and removed thousands of bees from the exterior and interior of the home. Sease said workers told him they removed an estimated 98% of the bees.
Dave Marshall, director of the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association, said the property owner did the right thing by hiring a professional service to perform the removal.
"The honey bee population has been struggling in recent years, so that's why it's more important that we're doing the right thing for the honey bees and that's not killing them if we do run into problems," he said. "Somebody could try and kill them on their own, but it's really not a good idea."
The Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association said attempts at amateur bee removal also could result in a foul smell from thousands of dead bees inside the walls of a structure, and the honey left behind by the felled insects could attract rodents or other pests.