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EMWD Beekeeper First Program Safely Removes Bees from Meter Boxes

Honey bee collecting pollen.

Customers who come across a beehive in their water meter box are encouraged to contact EMWD. EMWD contracts with a local beekeeping company to have the hives removed while working to preserve the bees so they may be used for pollination and educational purposes.

Bees are more active in warmer months and it is not uncommon to discover hives in water meter boxes. Individual hives can often host thousands of bees.

Bees are responsible for the pollination of about $15 billion worth of crops each year in the United States, including about 130 different varieties of fruits and vegetables. A healthy bee population ensures more abundant crops and many high-value crops rely on commercial beekeeping operations.

By safely removing and relocating bees whenever possible, EMWD is being an environmentally responsible partner by protecting the honeybee population, which has been steadily declining worldwide.

Should a customer discover a bee hive in their water meter box or at an EMWD facility, they are encouraged to avoid the swarm and contact EMWD’s 24-hour Integrated Operations Center at 951-928-3777, ext. 6265.

Bee hive on underside of water meter box cover.

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Eastern Municipal Water District is the water, wastewater service and recycled water provider to approximately 816,000 people living and working within a 555-square mile service area in western Riverside County. It is California’s sixth-largest retail water agency and its mission is “To deliver value to our customers and the communities we serve by providing safe, reliable, economical and environmentally sustainable water, wastewater and recycled water services.” More information can be found at