Wranglers Help Save Honey Bee Hive

Capt. Ariana Roscoe
BTB Unit Public Affairs Representative
4th Sustainment Brigade

FORT HOOD, Texas — Four Soldiers assigned to the Brigade Troops Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade were given the ‘Outstanding Commitment to a Job’ Team award on Oct. 23 for assisting in the safe extraction of a eight-foot wide bee hive underneath a storage container at the Department of Public Works recycle yard containing thousands of live honeybees that had produced more than 40 lbs of fresh honey.

The Soldiers were nominated for the award by Anne Hamilton, an entomologist for the national resources department within the Fort Hood Department of Public Works.

“Honeybees are on the decline in most areas of the country,” said Hamilton. “But here on Fort Hood we have a unique environment for bees, though they clash with missions, if they are in a public place we have to either kill them or remove them. Sometimes removal, unfortunately, is not possible.”

Luckily in this case, removal was possible.

The removal process took the Soldiers and the volunteer beekeepers three hours, with Soldiers first lifting the conex with the attached bee hive using a Kalmar Rough Terrain vehicle designed to lift large containers and gently stacked it on top of two other conexes so the bottom of the conex and bee hive was exposed for safe removal.

 The volunteer beekeepers and DPW Entomologist donned bee suits, removed the honey-loaded bee comb and then gently swept all of the bees into a commercial hive box.

Saving the honeybees that occasionally build their hives underneath storage containers on post

have become an important undertaking to personnel at the Natural Recourses Division in DPW, particularly because honeybee populations across the United States are declining, as much as 70 percent in some areas, because of what biologists have termed Colony Collapse Disorder, in which the worker bees abandon their colonies for unknown reasons.

Hamilton also attributed the success of the removal to bee conservation volunteers, thanking Dr. Art Baker, a preventive medicine physician with Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center and local rancher Jerry Massar helped remove the hive.

Mrs. Hamilton requested for the Hood Hero award recipients who helped remove the bee hive for Staff Sgt. Demetrius Edwards, Sgt. Jarvez Wilkes, Sgt. Cory Akridge and Spc. Mazeveylnn Edwards Soldier’s citation to read in part: “The Soldiers demonstrated calm professionalism and skilled handling of the equipment and performed duty under extraordinary circumstances.”

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FORT HOOD, Texas — Two workers with the Fort Hood Department of Public Works carefully transplant a piece of the beehive into containers to transplant their hive to a safer location.
(Fort Hood Department of Public Works photo by Anne Hamilton)

 

news photo
FORT HOOD, Texas — An eight-foot wide bee hive containing thousands of live honeybees set up operations underneath a storage container at the Department of Public Works recycle yard that had produced more than 40 lbs of fresh honey.
(Fort Hood Department of Public Works photo by Anne Hamilton)

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FORT HOOD, Texas — Workers with the Fort Hood Department of Public Works and the 4th Sustainment Brigade work to carefully extract a eight-foot wide bee hive underneath a storage container at the Department of Public Works recycle yard containing thousands of live honeybees that had produced more than 40 lbs of fresh honey.
(Fort Hood Department of Public Works photo by Anne Hamilton)