We are no stranger to critters at Woodside. Raccoons, squirrels, birds & a groundhog have all lived here at one point or another (and those are just the animals we’ve seen – surely there are more hanging around). And then there are the bees. We didn’t really notice them much when we bought the property because everything was so overgrown. Once we cut down the jungle, we started to see bees coming in & out of an exposed area over one of the living room windows. And then we noticed a lot of bees, dead & alive, inside the living room.
I started contacting local beekeepers last summer to inquire about getting the hive removed. The bees had lived there for several years and had established an extremely large hive between the first and second floors. We could tell it was going to be a time and labor-intensive task to remove them. Because of this, it was a little challenging to find someone who was willing to take it on, but we eventually found a beekeeper who was interested in the project.
We started by putting up scaffolding in the living room – much safer than him trying to balance on a ladder while pulling honeycombs down from the ceiling. At that point, we probably should’ve realized honeycombs + wooden floor = we need to lay down a tarp but, hey, renovation is all about living & learning, right?
Once the scaffolding was ready, our beekeeper came over and got to work. He first built a ledge on the outside of the house to hold a box for the bees to begin migrating into. Then he moved inside with several more boxes, cut into the ceiling and began moving the honeycombs piece by piece into the boxes.
He left the boxes out for about a week to allow time for the bees to migrate into them & came back during the evening to pick them up. We asked him how many bees he thought were in the hive and he said 30,000. Let me type that again but using letters this time so that you don’t think it was a typo: thirty thousand. Bees. Living in the ceiling. Makes me feel a little itchy, to say the least.
So the bees are out and living a new life away from Woodside, but since we were planning on keeping the original floors, now we have a new project: cleaning honey off wooden floors. Suggestions, anyone?