In October of this year, we were informed of a honeybee swarm that was inside a wall of a house that was going to soon be demolished. The workers were kind enough to wait a few days for us to make time to go over there and get the swarm out. Little did we know that this was a bit bigger hive that what we could have imagined. We were literally going to save the bees one at a time!
When we got inside Jerry began to cut a small section of the wall out. It was packed with bee’s, so he kept going down the wall cutting sections of out as he went along. There were bee’s in that wall from floor to ceiling.
Before I go any further Jerry had seen a video of a “bee vac” someone made. He decided with the amount of bee’s that were in that wall the easiest way to gather them all was to vacuum them up. So we covered up the hole, went home and he built a bee vac. I apologize for not having a picture of the millions bee’s in the wall before we suck them up, but you can not function a phone camera with bee suit gloves on, and I was in no mood that day to deal with bee stings.
But here is a video of the area we exposed and him vacuuming up the last (or so we thought) of them. By the way, I should tell you that the wall had two sections of honeycomb filled with honey one in front of the other with bee’s sandwiched in between. You will be able to see a picture of how that looked further down in this post.
After we vacuumed all of them up in our contraption. Jerry decided to check upstairs. He had a feeling but wouldn’t tell me until we got up there and he started tearing apart the floor under the window.
As you look at this you can see how thick each section of honeycomb is. So inside the wall, it was two of those from outside wall to inside wall. We also tore apart the wall from floor to windowsill and of course there where more.
This section of the comb was filled with brood (baby bee’s). We took this and added it to one of our smaller hives to give them a little more helping hands to build their home. After we vacuumed the bee’s from this section we went back down to get frame’s to put the comb in and the wall downstairs was filled once more. So back down with the bee vac to collect more bee’s. Once we got back upstairs to collect the honeycomb this is what we found. It was like the wall was breeding bees. They kept appearing faster than we could vacuum them up.
All in all it was very exciting and rewarding. We never found the queen. There were just too many bee’s to sift through.
It also was bittersweet. I hated the thought of the house that once held families being torn down. While I was inside you start to imagine the people that once lived their lives there. Whether happy or sad times, the house I’m sure held many stories. My time inside the house was brief but I left it to hold a story of my own.