‘They were nice bees. So we were like, Sure, go ahead, live in our shower’
A seven-foot-tall beehive was found at a Florida beach house in which about 80,000 “nice” bees had been busy manufacturing a hundred pounds of honey behind a shower wall.
Even though the homeowners in Florida’s Shore Acres area had grown accustomed to the occasional bee sting, they were tired of constant buzzing noises and had decided to bid goodbye to the uninvited guests by renovating their home.
The family, however, were in for a surprise after they called beekeeper Elisha Bixler who tore away at the shower wall in their bathroom to reveal the massive beehive.
The beekeeper had initially seen a tiny patch of the beehive from an opening in the bathroom, but once she began breaking down the wall tile by tile, she found the massive beehive that covered the entire area from the floor right up to the ceiling.
A video shared by Ms Bixler on her Facebook page “How’s Your Day Honey” showed honey oozing out of the massive beehive by the simple act of lightly touching it.
The incident had occurred last month, but was reported widely recently.
“I got a surprise when I started breaking away the tiles behind the shower wall. Look at how much honey is packed away in here. This is a seven-foot long beehive,” Ms Bixler can be heard saying in the video.
According to her, the homeowners were informed about a beehive behind the shower wall, but they were not concerned about it.
The family comprised a couple, their two kids and two Great Danes who continued to live in the house despite the occasional bee sting.
“We both really love nature and we love bees,” one of the homeowners, Stephanie Graham was quoted as saying by The New York Times. “We’re like, ‘We’ll leave you alone. You leave us alone.’ They were nice bees. So we were like, ‘Sure, go ahead, live in our shower’.”
The family members would hear a constant buzzing noise or would see a bee pop out when they were using the bathroom.
“The homeowners were getting tired of listening to the buzzing and random bees escaping the wall whenever they would use the bathroom,” Ms Bixler said in the video.
“This thing is incredible. I am gonna take them home to one of my apiaries,” the beekeeper added.
The process of moving away the bees from the shower wall and rehabilitating them was described by Ms Bixler in the NYT report that was published on Wednesday.
Ms Bixler said she carried a heat thermal gun that pointed her to the shower corner but it was only after she chipped away at the tiles that she realised how massive the colony of bees actually was.
The temperature recorded by the thermal gun was around 96 degrees, which she said was typical for a beehive.
She initially wore just a veil to protect herself from the bees, but after several bees stung her she was forced to wear extra protective gear comprising gloves and boots.
Her next task was to find the queen bee who would have led the entire colony out from behind the shower wall. Ms Bixler soon found the queen bee, as her abdomen was twice the size of regular bees, she noted.
She took the queen bee and placed her in a protective cage along with the other bees.
“That makes all the bees go into the box with her. She wants to be back in her wall. She thinks that’s her home,” she told the NYT.
Ms Bixler estimated there were approximately 60,000-80,000 bees thriving in the hive, she told Fox13.
The bees have been safely taken back to her farm.