Iolani Palace to remain closed through weekend due to swarming bees

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Iolani Palace will remain closed through the weekend following a bee attack on Thursday which sent one man to the hospital.

Signs are posted to keep people away from the palace as thousands of bees are still in the area and very aggressive.

Absolute Termite and Pest Control came to remove the bees from the exterior of Iolani Palace on Thursday and found three more hives within the walls of the palace.

“There is one on the column and two way up high within the walls and the one in the column is the one that actually created the attack and for whatever reasons that are undetermined at this point,” said Curt Cottrell, DLNR Division of State Parks.

Officials say the bees are European honeybees, which have been in Hawaii since the 1800s.

“We have four other races here in Hawaii, historically, and we do know both hives seem to be German bees and German bees also tend to be aggressive in nature,” said Darcy Oishi, Department of Agriculture.

The bee company estimates each hive has between 60,000 and 80,000 bees—and the remaining bees aren’t happy.

“We had a beekeeper come in and physically remove the honeycomb, the brood, and the queen,” explains Oishi.

“We probably have several thousand bees still lingering which are causing some problems.”

He said the hives within the palace walls will be harder to address.

“\We’ll be using chemicals to help kill those bees there’s no other way around it since they’re physically in the structure and it’s a historic structure so it poses unique difficulties that we need to address,” Oishi said.

“The issue we have is that the structure is very old as we all know and fragile, and unlike most structures, you can’t just cut into it or remove it,” said Jeremyah Wubben, who works for Absolute Termite and Pest Control.

Iolani Palace could be closed up until Tuesday, the DLNR will make the call on when to re-open.

There is still no word on what triggered the bees to swarm the man.

However, experts say bees tend to go after people wearing black clothing.

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