Tulare Church Finds Reality TV Solution for Bees
What started as a suggestion that initially drew incredulous laughter became a very real — as in reality-TV-show real — occurrence at Tulare’s First Church of God on Friday.What started as a suggestion that initially drew incredulous laughter became a very real — as in reality-TV-show real — occurrence at Tulare’s First Church of God on Friday.
Bugged by a bee colony for more than 20 years, church congregation members contacted Los Angeles-based pest management ISOTECH, who then contacted producers of Discovery Channel’s “Verminators,” a reality show that chronicles the removing of pests from homes,, businesses and places of worship, among others. “Pests don’t discriminate,” said the show’s supervising producer Lisa Ely. And on Friday, ISOTECH personnel, dressed in white, baggy protective suits and face-guarding mesh masks, and the show’s film crew wrapped filming of the bee removal from the church’s worship hall overhang.
“They’re completely taking care of the problem,” Pastor Jerry Davisson said.
“That’s way more than we could ask for. It’s a blessing having them take care of the problem.” After fumigating to kill the bees, ISOTECH personnel removed an estimated 200 pounds of honeycomb, 20-years’ worth of bees’ constant work, lodged between the hall’s ceiling and roof. “It has been a constant source of worry,” Davisson said.
Yes, church members have been stung over the years and, during summer months, it was impossible to walk by the hall. Not to worry. The removal is guaranteed. Supervising producer Ely said if bees make a comeback, ISOTECH workers will come back and make it right. “They wouldn’t leave until the job is done,” she said.
Church member Ken Dodson said he proposed the idea of contacting the “Verminators.” Initial response was less than enthusiastic. “They kind of laughed at me,” he said.
A few phone calls and e-mails later, Dodson had generated enough interest from “Verminators” producers to initially set up the removal — and filming — late last year. After pushing the film date back a couple of times, “Verminators” crew showed up Thursday, only two days after informing church members the bee removal was going to be featured on the show.
Ely said the show is going into its second season. The segment filmed at the Tulare church will air in May or June. “People are starting to know about the show,” she said. The bee removal is estimated at $30,000. “That’s way more than the church can afford,” Dodson said.
On Thursday, a big crowd gathered at the church’s front lawn to watch initial taping. On Friday, church members stopped by to check out progress. A few church members were also interviewed, including Davisson and Dodson.
Davisson said he plans to set up a Super Bowl-like viewing party for when the show premieres. And he says he expects a lot of buzz; none is expected from the bees.
“There’ll be a lot of cheering for the ‘Verminators’ and a lot of booing for the bees,” he said, laughing.
Tulare Church Finds Reality TV Solution for Bees in Los Angeles
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