The Telegraph
Saturday , December 29 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Jusco takes the sting out of Kamani Centre menace
- Four beehives removed from near Bistupur market complex in two-night operation, two more to go

The bee buzz near Kamani Centre, Jamshedpur’s oldest, multi-storeyed market complex, has grown less louder.

Tata Steel subsidiary Jusco has got cracking on the sting army that has been troubling shoppers at the Bistupur landmark and removed four beehives — three from the LIC Building and one from the banyan tree — in a two-night operation on Wednesday and Thursday.

However, two more beehives continue to pose a threat with the utility service provider promising to clear them by the end of this month.

In a report on December 8, The Telegraph had highlighted the bee invasion at Kamani Centre — which hosts 200-odd shops and offices and witnesses a daily footfall of 4,000 — that had taken a toll on flow of shoppers besides hassling commuters. Two customers at the market were even bitten by the bees.

According to Jusco officials, they have only one expert adept at removing beehives, who had gone to attend a relative’s wedding in Bihar and returned last week. Soon thereafter, the civic guardian put together a team of a pest expert, an assistant and four women cleaners and launched the ‘sting operation’.

First, pest expert Mohammed Imam conducted a recce of the areas under siege on N. Road — LIC Building and the banyan tree adjacent to Kamani Centre — a week ago. Finally, the operation was carried out between 11.30pm and 1am on Wednesday and Thursday, as bees are less active during night and stay put inside the hives.

“The expert and the assistant wore special clothes, made from material used in parachutes, along with gloves and face masks during the operation. While Imam sprayed pesticide, known as spot kill, from a ladder (the beehives were at a height of more than 100 feet), the assistant used a high-powered torch to lit up the areas,” said a Jusco official.

The duo then climbed down and the team waited for half an hour for the dead bees to fall. After about half an hour, they again climbed up the ladder and removed the hives, he added.

Jusco spokesperson Rajesh Rajan said the exercise would continue till the other beehives were similarly removed.

However, the standard procedure of washing the area with a chemical and scrubbing it thoroughly clean to get rid of any bee residue after the hive is removed was not followed. The official cited bizarre excuses like they feared that the chemical substance would trickle down in the event of rain (something that is mostly unlikely with not even the weather forecast predicting it) and harm vendors selling ware below the spots during the day for skipping the cleaning part that prevents a new swarm from tracking the scent of the former colony and making their own hive.

“The team did not spray any strong chemical on the cleaned portions as it is a commercial area and several vendors sitting below during day time would have been inconvenienced,” said the official.

However, he stressed that after removing all the beehives, the spots would be scrubbed properly.

But no bees were collected as is usually done between February and June but the woman cleaners collected the beehives.

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