A husband and wife raised a hive of bees out of their high-rise condominium for over a year, angering their neighbors. The neighbors reported them to the property manager, and eventually police, on March 29 according to the Ningbo Evening News.
The husband began raising bees in Zhejiang Province, China, with the intention of using bee stings as a form of medicine. The couple, who remained unnamed in the report, later began to regard the bees as pets.
Apitherapy, which involves using bee products and bee stings as a form of medicine, is unsupported by evidence-based medicine.
After the police intervened, the couple agreed to raise the bees somewhere other than their condo.
Local police received a complaint from residents in an unnamed housing area about bees swarming their balconies. Families who hung their clothes out to dry said their clothing was covered in dots of bee excrement.
When the police arrived, they recorded cellphone footage looking out the window, seeing a swarm of bees gathered outside near a flower pot.
“It’s not that it’s just like this today,” one man said in a video recorded by the police. “It’s always like this, yesterday was like this, the day before was like this.”
The property manager then confirmed that a couple had been raising bees from their condominium for over a year. Though the management attempted to persuade the beekeepers to move the hive away, the husband and wife did not agree.
The beekeepers reportedly retorted to the management that they should worry about those who own cats and dogs first, according to the Ningbo Evening News.
When the police entered the couple’s house, they found a wooden box used as a bee hive on the balcony. They said they saw bees both crawling inside and outside of the box, with some flying around.
What’s It Gonna Bee?
“All we have is this one box,” the woman said in the video recorded by the police. “It’s his [husband] hobby, he does it for fun.”
The owners said that they had over ten thousand bees.
“So you raise them as pets?” the police officer asked. The woman laughed and agreed with him. She said that the bees were raised by her husband for apitherapy—using bee stings for supposed medical cures.
“It doesn’t matter if someone gets stung,” the woman said. “The more stings, the better. Let me tell you, people who raise bees never get cancer. Bee stings also help cure arthritis,” the woman said.
Over time, the couple grew fond of the bees and regarded them as pets.
“You feel sentimental for the bees now?” the officer asked in the police footage. “Of course we do!” the woman responded. “It’s been many years,” her husband said.
The woman and the officer argue about the similarities and differences between raising bees and a dog.
The police said there was a fine for owning animals that affect other people’s well-being. The fine was between $30 and $75.
The woman finally said that they would remove the bees and that her husband found a new place for them.