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Orange County Digest

Costa Mesa : Bee-Removal Operation No Place for Bumblers

September 17, 1985|Robert Hanley \f7

Clad in multiple layers of thick coveralls and with protective nets about their faces and strips of duct tape wrapped tightly around wrists, ankles and waists, the trio looked like actors in a low-budget remake of the film "Ghostbusters."

Though they were in reality bee-keepers, their mission was no less deadly as they prepared to rout offending bumblebees from the palm tree that had become a base for attacks on children and teachers at a Costa Mesa preschool at 2032 Orange Ave.

"I sure hope this works," said Donal Kirchberg, owner of the Bee Team, a Garden Grove company that specializes in getting rid of bees that spend more time making trouble than making honey.

With the assistance of a fire engine, three police cars and a custom-made vacuum cleaner, Kirchberg made short work of the hive and its 200 or so inhabitants. Escapees, he said, won't return to the area now that their nest is gone.

As curious residents gathered to witness the unfolding drama, speculation that the mysterious men in the funny clothes were after "those killer bees from up north" mingled with wisecracks about the operation's cost to taxpayers.

"There goes my whole property tax bill for this year," joked Bill Bloomberg as he stood a safe distance away from the action. "Where's Rambo when you need him?"

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