Bee Removal at Word of Faith Ministries

Published 1:48 pm Monday, November 6, 2023

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Gloria Bryant, Pastor of Word of Faith Ministries, had a problem. The church was planning to expand, but bees had taken over a portion of the building. Since bees are illegal to exterminate in Georgia due to their importance and existing threats from disease, they had to remove them professionally. She talked about the plans for the building after the bees were relocated.

“We are going to have an office back over in that area. Then we are going to have some more classrooms for training.”

She talked about the ministries they are involved in.

“We do ministry work, we have training to send out missionaries, and you have training for young people to learn more about how to conduct themselves, single mom ministry, mission work, drug and alcohol abuse programs, senior citizen, where we have certain programs for senior citizens. This is a banquet room here.”

Gloria Bryant showed where the bees were coming and going on the outside of the banquet room, then showed me the inside. The room was decorated in purple and lavender, no sign of the insects coming and going on the outside.

Afterwards I talked with her son, Reggie Bryant, who witnessed the bee removal on the 28th. He talked about meeting the beekeeper.

“He was playing Christian music. I asked him, ‘Do you normally play Christian music or is it because you are taking bees out of a church?’ He told me ‘No, I’m a born-again Christian.’”

He described watching the removal.

“The bees were all over him, but of course they weren’t stinging him. But to someone standing by observing, it does look pretty scary, and you’re concerned, but he’s safe though.

He was up on the ladder, as one of the pictures shows you, in his uniform. But he couldn’t reach far enough to get the entire hive. That’s his job, to remove the hive, all the bees, to identify and remove the queen bee, all the brood, the eggs. But he couldn’t reach that far back, and that’s when he advised us that he had to come inside to finish the job.

Inside, when he lifted the sheet rock in the ceiling, he found the remaining hive, and there was actually honey dripping down the walls of the church.

I was able to go in and dispose of the remainder, because all the bees are not corralled. I told Brent, I expected the bees to go back to Albany with you, just follow you back to Albany.

In fact, he said there may be up to a thousand bees just out and about in Americus collecting nectar coming back. They’re the worker bees, and so when they come back to the hive they are going to see that the hive has been removed and sealed up, and they will be hanging around for a few days, which they are. There’s still bees around there clustering.

Bees serve a purpose in nature as we all know, we could not survive as a human species without them, and they are getting rare, almost to the point we are worried about extinction of the honeybee.”

He talked about dealing with the remaining bees.

“We had to isolate that room where they were, make sure to close all doors to make sure they don’t get into the main part of the church, and I was in there alone with them. These are just the leftovers, I would say about two hundred bees were leftover in there, even with five bees it sounds like five hundred. But they were not aggressive, they were all attracted to the window.”

He mentioned the remaining bees the bee-vac missed were surprisingly docile.

“They weren’t mad, and coming after me, that kind of thing. He couldn’t vacuum one bee at a time, so there is always some left over.”

He expressed hopes that the removal was successful.

“I look forward to going back down there tomorrow after the cold snap, and hopefully I won’t see any remaining bees flying around trying to get back in the hive.”