The nerve of some bees, just moving into your house without so much as an invitation. Sadly these days that story is all too common. As we encroach on their territory, they move back into ours. One homeowner made a desperate call about such an occurrence to David L. Glover — AKA Bartlett the Bee Whisperer. You see, the bees were embedded in the wall of this house in Germantown, Tennessee, and even an exterminator couldn’t get rid of them.
Not to worry, though, the Bee Whisperer is on the scene and the unfolding story is adorable, informative, and heroic.
It’s great news that honeybees have been downgraded from “endangered” to “dangerous.” However, that doesn’t mean we can ease on our efforts to protect them. Which is why people like Bartlett the Bee Whisperer stay on the scene. He helps to rescue and then relocates honeybee hives when they’ve picked a bad spot.
The Bee Whisperer works in West Tennessee, East Arkansas, and North Mississippi. When he gets a call, he rescues the hives and relocates them to local beekeepers who lost colonies during the epidemic — it’s a win-win all around.
David talked to Bored Panda about his experience.
“First I identify that they are indeed honey bees,” David said. “You’d be surprised how many people don’t know the difference between Bees and wasps or yellow jackets. I then locate the hive using forward-looking infrared. Step by step the area of the home is opened, and all combs removed. Brood combs are rubber banded into hive frames and honey goes into a bucket (as long as the bees have never been sprayed). If the homeowner is willing to eat a piece of comb with me, it’s probably never been sprayed. The bees who do not follow the combs into the new hive box are vacuumed into a two-stage vacuum. They are added back to the new hive once they are set up in their new yard.”
If you are like me, and some of that sounds a bit confusing, don’t give up. You see, Bartlett the Bee Whisperer took a ton of photos and posted about the whole thing on Facebook.
David explained that people are always surprised at the size of honeybee hives. They spread out and use up much more space than bees like wasps, you see. Here’s how it all went down.
Every once in a while I get a call that makes me cringe. Sometimes the bees are way up high, and sometimes it's bricks….
First, he described how the bees were entering the wall of the house.
The bees were entering the wall via a weep hole between the bricks (dark area bottom/center) as well as via a gap between the bricks and the corner of the window.
David took a really cook infrared photograph of the hive before getting to work.
Well, the large red spot is the brood area of the hive. The thin red line on the left is the weep hole entrance.
Obviously, David did everything he could to protect the bees from his work.
The first thing I did after smoking the entrances was to spray some Honey Bandit in the small hole I'm drilling in this…
Then, the handy bee rescuer started to take the wall apart — brick by brick.
The first brick is out in one piece.
As you can imagine, taking the bricks out one-by-one took quite a while.
All that work was totally worth it, though. Just look at that massive hive.
This is what I mean by AWESOME. The comb wasn't overly-attached to the bricks AND this is one of the largest single…
Our lesson in all things bees isn’t over. David took a few more photos of the inner workings of the hive.
At the bottom of the front comb were five of the thirteen capped queen cells in this hive.
Unfortunately, the Bee Whisperer did find some dead bees while he was in there.
Removing a slice of brood comb holding seven of the thirteen queen cells. On the left side of the hive I found a large…
Finally, David started to carefully remove the hive.
Rubber banding the second brood comb.
David ran into a snag, though, when he got to the center of the honeycomb. He said it was like the bees were, “dropping acid.”
Slow process removing combs in the middle section where they were all interconnected and tunneled. It's like the…
He was really impressed, though, at how well-behaved the bees were during the rescue.
These bees were extremely cooperative to be queenless.
Finally, the Bee Whisperer started clean-up.
Wow, look at the size of that hole!
A GOOD DAY
It was a good day all around for the dedicated bee rescuer. He saved the hive and the homeowner’s sanity, as well. Like we said, thankfully honeybees are off the endangered species list. It’s only because of efforts like these, though, that it’s possible.
Thank you to Bartlett the Bee Whisperer for helping us bring back one of our most precious resources.
Check out the video David posted about his experience below.