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Don't kill bees, remove them

The nation's first-ever ban on bee killing may be enacted in Austin, TX. (Source: KXAN/NBC) The nation's first-ever ban on bee killing may be enacted in Austin, TX. (Source: KXAN/NBC)

AUSTIN, TX (KXAN/NBC) - The city of Austin, TX, may become the first in the nation to ban the killing of bees.

No one wants to be stung by one, but bees have their use. Walter Schumacher's bee rescue will take them away, alive, at no charge.

Schumacher believes bees should be nurtured.

"You don't have to kill them. You don't have to pick up the phone and go kill a pest or rid a bug or whoever you want," he said. "I have honey bees. They make honey. Would you kill a cow because it's dangerous? No, not unless you were going to eat it. So do the same thing with a honey bee."

Schumacher takes that feral honey to local food makers, and accepts only donations in return - sort of a bee barter.

Round Rock Honey has been dealing with bees for years. They also believe live extraction is preferable to extermination.

"If you kill off bugs on a bee hive and then leave the comb behind, that will attract ants, that will attract cockroaches, it will attract mold and do all sorts of things like that. Eventually, it will attract more bees again, so it doesn't really solve the problem," said Round Rock's Conrad Bouffard.

Schumacher will kick off his bee rescue operation with a meet and greet this Saturday and Sunday.

"Hopefully, when you call 311, 911, the fire department or the police department, starting Saturday, and say, 'I have bees,' they'll directly call us or give you our number. Because there's no charge," he said.

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