Get our newsletters

Custodians remedy sticky situation for Del Val High School student


arming around Abbey Kuhn’s father’s Honda Accord in the Delaware Valley High School parking lot after school on Friday, Aug. 31.

“There were a lot of them, all over the car,” said the senior from Alexandria Township, N.J., “so I went to ask the janitors for bee spray.”

Custodians Ronnie Marinelli and Doug Castaneda were preparing to leave for the day, but they were eager to help. Marinelli estimates there must’ve been about 30 yellow jackets all over the car. They batted them down with their hands, noting that the car was apparently delicious to the wasps. At home, the Honda is usually parked under a sugar maple tree, which drips sap onto it. “That’s like candy” for the wasps, Marinelli said.

With the blessing of their supervisor, Mattie O’Brien, they had Kuhn drive her car from the main parking lot around behind the school, where they hosed it off, rendering it uninteresting to the yellow jackets.

Kuhn is grateful to the men who took the time to remediate her wasp problem. “They were super-nice,” she said.

Principal Adrienne Olcott praised the custodians’ willingness to go above and beyond to help a student. “That’s the kind of guys they are, and we love them for it,” she said. Consequently she named them Del Val High School’s Employees of the Month for September.