January 10, 2009 02:00 PM by Paulene Hinds
For over 20 years, Tulare Church has been infested with a bee colony prompting one of the congregation to contact the Los Angeles-based pest management company ISOTECH. When they received the call, they didn’t rush to check out the situation, instead they contacted producers of Discovery Channel’s Verminators, a reality show thatfollows the removal of pests from homes, businesses andeven places of worship. This past Friday, ISOTECH employees, donned their white protective suits and face-guarding mesh masks, and went in to take care of the bee problem at the church’s worship hall overhang, followed by Verminator’s film crew.
“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,” Pastor Jerry Davisson said.
Many church members have been stung over the years especially during summer months, making it impossible to even venture by the hall.
There are no worries now though and if the pesky bees try to make a return, the Verminators will be back as the bee 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 that when he suggested the idea of contacting the Verminators, the intial response from the congregation was less than enthusiastic.
“They kind of laughed at me,” Ken Dodson said.
After a few phone calls and e-mails, Ken Dodson had caught the attention of the Verminators producers and they initially set up the removal and filming for 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.
Supervising producer, Ely said the show is going into its second season. The segment filmed at the Tulare church will air in May or June 2009.
“People are starting to know about the show,” she said.
The bee removal would have cost the church a whopping $30,000 and Ken Dodson said, “That’s way more than the church can afford.”
Church members showed up for the initial taping of the show on Thursday and many retruned to see the bees being removed on Friday as well. Some of them were even interviewed for the show including Pastor Jerry Davisson and Ken Dodson.
Howwill the church handling their big debut on reality TV next year? Pastor Jerry Davisson said he plans to set up a Super Bowl-like viewing party when the show premieres and he joked that 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.
Photo Credit: Discovery Channel