Firefighters in Alhaurín de la Torre are charging a resident €480 for removing a large swarm of bees. Resident Juan Manuel Ruíz has recognised that bees are a protected species, but insists that he isn’t responsible for the fauna that sets up shop in his home.
Two and a half years after firefighters removed a large beehive from Juan Manuel’s home, the resident has received a hefty bill. In 2017, the family in Alhaurín de la Torre was alerted to the bees by their incessant buzzing.
The beehive was the size of a football and Juan Manuel worried they could be dangerous, especially as they were close to houses with children. The man decided to contact the 112-emergency number and firefighters were called to intervene.
The firemen removed the hive carefully and put it in a special box. Later that evening, a beekeeper arrived and took the hive for safeguarding. The resident assures that at the time, he asked the firemen if he would be responsible for any costs, to which they replied that he wouldn’t.
However, two years later, Juan Manuel has received a certified letter from the Fire Consortium demanding the payment of €480.
The bill breaks down the expense of the intervention, demanding €240 for the two trucks that arrived, €106 for the driver and chief firefighter and a further €135 for the task that was undertaken. The resident has been given a month to pay the costs, but Juan Manuel has launched an appeal.
If he can prove that the bees posed a dangerous situation, he will not be charged for the assistance. He has highlighted that he lived in a residential area with neighbours and children who played in the adjacent patios and terraces. He added that in extreme cases bees can even cause death and that he isn’t responsible for the large beehive that appeared on his property.