Shelby County Beekeepers host a hive of activity

Published 11:09 am Monday, January 14, 2013

Honeybee Removal Expert Mike Sykes demonstrates how he uses his thermal camera to discover bee hives in walls during the Shelby County Beekeepers Association meeting Jan. 3. (Reporter photo/Christine Boatwright)


CHELSEA – The Chelsea Senior Center was abuzz as more than 35 bee enthusiasts settled in for their January meeting.

The local beekeepers asked about each other’s bees as they paid the $10 annual fee to be a part of the Shelby County Beekeepers Association.

President Margie Robertson said the association’s future goal is to build a “honey house” in Shelby County, ideally Chelsea. The two-acre facility would provide educational opportunities and a central location to process honey in stainless steel equipment.

Mike Sykes, a honeybee removal expert, was the keynote speaker. Sykes has been in business for more than 15 years, and guarantees that once he has removed bees from a structure, they won’t return for at least five years.

“If you take the hole away from them, they won’t come back,” Sykes said, noting he uses insulation to fill the holes in homes’ walls.

According to Sykes, bees typically build hives in the space between walls or in floor joists. To contact Sykes for honeybee removal, email him at

The association is offering a beginners’ class starting Jan. 24. Attendees will learn to how assemble a hive box, how to purchase honeybees and a queen and how to extract honey. The class costs $45 for the first attendees and $20 for a friend. Applications are available at For more information, call former president George Baldwin at 516-0918.

The Shelby County Beekeepers Association meets at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month at the Chelsea Senior Center, which is located at 708 Shelby County 36 in Chelsea. Visit or search for “Shelby County Beekeepers Association, Alabama” on for more information.