SAN ANTONIO — Honeybees pollinate more than 100 types of crops in the United States. But being close to humans can put them at risk. Fortunately, one Texas group trying to rescue them instead of exterminating them.
Walter Schumacher’s job takes him to some interesting places.
“Oh, there’s a lot of bee poop.” Schumacher said after tearing a hole in the side of the bell tower at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church.
Schumacher runs the non-profit American Honey-Bee Protection Agency.
“They call me the Bee Czar,” he said, referencing the name of his Discovery + docuseries.
Their work takes them all over the state of Texas – removing bees from buildings without exterminating them.
“Our mission is to save bees from people and people with bees.”
Today they are at Holy Spirit Catholic Church to remove a hive from their bell tower.
“We have about 15 hives here in San Antonio that the city has called us to remove,” Schumacher said.
Schumacher believes he is the only one in the world doing this kind of work without wearing a protective suit. He said for the sake of his health he could not keep working in the heavy suits in the Texas heat.
“You have to learn to listen to them,” he said. “When you listen to them, they tell you what mood they’re in.”
He’s had his work turned into a reality show on Discovery +. But for him, the work has a much deeper meaning.
“The honey-bee provides about every third bite of food that we eat,” Schumacher said. “Imagine if you took one third of the food away.”
That’s why he provides the service free of charge, he says if someone can afford to pay, he tells them to instead donate to the non-profit.
“If we don’t save these bees, then someone’s going to spray poison on them and that’s not going to help anybody,” he said.
The American Honeybee Protection Agency can be reached at 512-914-0123, they also have people referred to them through 311.