Q: How does the thriving town just upriver from Bettendorf spell its name? Is it “LeClaire” or “Le Claire?” Sometimes there is a space between Le and Claire and sometimes there is not. The exterior wall of the town’s U.S. Post Office spells it “Le Claire.” Also, the town’s website begins with the title “Welcome to Le Claire.” But in the very first sentence of that same website and throughout the site, they spell it “LeClaire.” Wikipedia spells it “LeClaire” but Google Maps has it “Le Claire.” The town was named after Antoine LeClaire. It happens that he once owned our family’s farmland. I checked the abstract and in his Last Will and Testament, it is spelled “LeClaire.” But, I also noticed that, over the last 150 years, the abstract spells our family name three different ways. This seems to make the abstract a questionable source. If it is “LeClaire,” why isn’t “Des Moines” spelled “DesMoines?” So, which is it — Le Claire or LeClaire?
— Tim, Quad-Cities
A: While Ask the Times isn’t fluent in French, it knows that “des” and “le” are articles like “the” in English. That doesn’t really answer the question, but LeClaire City Administrator Ed Chaote can. “The correct spelling is “LeClaire.” “We are trying to standardize all of the inconsistencies out there and obviously haven’t accomplished that yet,” he said.
And while we’re on the topic of town names, another Scott County community whose name is inconsistent in various uses is Park View, not Parkview.
Q: Can you help me find a beekeeper who will help relocate honeybees? We have honeybees and we don’t want to kill them. They need to be relocated safely.
— T.L., Davenport
A: T.L., we aren’t sure by your question whether you have a swarm in a tree in your backyard, or if a colony has taken up residence within the walls of your home.
In the instance of a swarm — which is a group of bees that has broken off from its parent hive to begin a new hive — Coal Valley, Ill., beekeeper Phil Crandall advises you to just wait out the bees.
A swarm in a tree will generally move on within a couple of hours or at least within a day or two. Crandall said it isn’t worth his while to try to capture them because by the time he gets to your property, the swarm likely will have moved on.
If the swarm does stay — say in a tree — you can just leave them be, Ron Fischer, an Orion, Ill., beekeeper added. The bees likely will die out over the winter, he said.
Now, if you have a situation where bees have established a hive within the walls of your home, then you have a real mess and no easy solution.
None of the several nuisance wildlife removal services or insect pest control companies we contacted deal with “honey bee extraction,” as it is called.
Crandall and Fischer agreed that it is virtually impossible to get a hive out of a wall intact; generally the bees will have to be killed. “They either need to be destroyed, or your house will be destroyed,” Crandall said.
Adds Fischer: “I have been keeping bees for many years and I have never known anyone who has successfully taken a hive out of a house — it’s a plain mess. You have to kill them, unfortunately.”
In addition, the honey that the bees have made will need to be cleaned out because once the bees are gone, the honey will warm and begin dripping through your drywall.
Begin extraction by killing the bees. Go out at night when it is dark (so they can’t see you to sting you) and spray a wasp/hornet insecticide at the entrance, Fischer said. The bees will pick up the chemical and carry it to the hive.
Once the bees are dead, you have two choices in regard to the honey. You can either leave it be and see what happens, or you (or a building contractor) can cut into your wall to take out the honeycombs, in which case you’ll have some home repairs in the works, too.
Fischer said he knows of one man who simply let the honeycombs be — they were between his living room ceiling and the bedroom floor above and the honey began dripping into his living room, much like a water leak. The man set out a pan and within two months, the dripping stopped.
(Answers provided by Times reporters Kurt Allemeier and Alma Gaul.)