Ask around, and it seems like every homeowner has a complaint about their living space. The front door is too squeaky. The bathroom floor is tilted. But as time goes on, it’s these little quirks that really make a place feel like home… unless, of course, that quirk turns out to be something living.
When one pet control specialist received a call about a strange noise coming from a kitchen wall, he shrugged off the news as just another day on the job. But as soon as he removed the first brick, he immediately came face to face with the most staggering discovery of his career.
In late September, a Tennessee family was startled when they began hearing a strange noise coming from their walls. At first, they assumed that it must be some sort of animal…
After all, it’s not uncommon for animals, mostly rodents, to take up residence inside the warm walls of our homes when the weather gets cold. But the noises never went away when the seasons changed, they only got more intense…
After the round of pesticide treatment failed to banish the bugs who were presumably making such a racket, the family decided to call in a professional. They looked no further than pest expert David Glover.
David was confident that whatever winged creatures were humming away in the family’s wall would be no match for his years of experience. However, nothing could’ve prepared him for the shocking discovery he’d soon make.
As David examined the outer wall of the home’s kitchen, he discovered a “weep hole” (the black line at the bottom center) and another small gap between the kitchen window and the brick. These small openings were most likely the entry points for whatever creatures decided to wiggle their way into the home.
In order to get a sense of the size of whatever was lodged within the wall, David decided to use his infrared camera to pick up heat signatures. When the images came back, David was stunned at what he saw: whatever made itself at home in their walls was huge!
David decided to use smoke as he worked in case he was dealing with dangerous stinging insects. He also sprayed a small amount of a natural repellent in order to keep them from escaping into the rest of the wall.
With the insects momentarily stunned by the smoke, David got to work widening the weep hole so he could get a better look inside. As soon as David pulled the first brick off the wall, his suspicions about the infestation were confirmed.
The pesky home intruders were, in fact, a hive of busy honeybees. And judging by the size of the comb that was now visible through the brick, this was likely going to be the toughest pest removal job of David’s life.
David began removing layer after layer of brick, knocking out two whole rows in just a few minutes. But with each brick he removed, David’s stomach sank just a little bit more at the sight of a beehive that just didn’t seem to end.
By the time David had removed five rows of brick, he realized just how big of a jam he had gotten himself into. When the entire hive was finally revealed, David couldn’t believe his eyes…
The hive was absolutely massive, its size dwarfing that of the kitchen window set above it. According to David, it was the single largest honeycomb he had ever seen!
Upon closer inspection of the buzzing hive, David noticed that it contained thirteen capped queen cells, each with a separate virgin queen bee. It was clear to David that this hive wasn’t just incredibly active — it was thriving.
As David inspected the rest of the hive, he noticed a number of dead bees clustered on the leftmost side. David deduced that this was likely where the exterminator had sprayed his initial batch of pesticide, however, the chemicals had no chance of killing off the entire colony.
Though the bees were surely a nuisance, David knew that simply exterminating them would only contribute to the effects of the mass bee deaths occurring across the globe. And so, David decided to remove the hive piece by piece in order to relocate the bees to a more suitable home.
After removing several chunks of honeycomb, David noticed that a large section was constructed as a convoluted mess of curves and tunnels. David described the strange combs as looking as if “the construction crew in this part of the hive was dropping acid.” How bizarre!
Despite the fact that David was essentially destroying their home, the honeybees were oddly cooperative with his efforts, especially for ones who just had their queens taken away. They even clustered on David’s shoulder as he worked.
Once the combs were removed, David began cleaning up his work area. As one can imagine, ripping open a brick wall and removing a hive of thousands of bees from inside is pretty messy work!
While he was tidying up, David decided to place a box in the hole in the event that any worker bees that may have been frightened off by the commotion returned. After all, no hive is complete without its workers.
After David finished cleaning, he was amazed at the imprint left behind by the thousands of dirty little bee feet. “Kind of cool when you think about all the times your Mom told you to wipe your feet before coming into the house,” David joked.
With the hive safely removed, David will likely deliver the bees to a number of honey farms in the area. By doing this, David hopes to help those beekeepers currently dealing with colony losses.
Bees may get a bad rap, but they’re an essential part of global agriculture and play a huge role in nearly every aspect of human daily life. So before you go swatting at a bee that gets a little too close for comfort, just remember: bees are our friends!
What would you do if you found a hive that big in your wall?