When Thomas and Marylu Gouttierre of Omaha, Nebraska planted bee-friendly flowers outside their home, they didn’t know they were inviting thousands of new residents inside their home, reports ABC news via The Associated Press.
According to the Omaha World-Herald, the couple recently had about 6,000 bees removed from the walls of their 100-year-old house.
The bees likely entered the wall through a hole in the home’s brick exterior. The Gouttierres say they first noticed many bees flying outside their kitchen window and found about 30 in a second-floor bedroom.
“If you put your ears to the wall you could hear the buzzing,” said Thomas, who is a retired dean at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
The Gouttierres say their first thought was to call an exterminator, “but we’ve been reading and there are a lot of great shows on PBS ‘Nature’ about how important bees are to pollinating the world in which we live.”
So instead, the couple contacted two members of the Omaha Bee Club who charged $600 to safely relocate the bees. During the big evacuation, Larry Cottle of Countryside Acres Aviary cut a hole in the wall of the home before Ryan Gilligan of Gilly’s Gold vacuumed the bees into a box. Inside the wall, Cottle and Gilligan found honeycombs about 2 inches (5 centimeters) thick and roughly 9 inches (23 centimeters) in diameter.
Gouttierre said he and his wife tasted some of the honey before Gilligan took the bees with him.
Surprisingly, Gilligan, who has spent the last seven years removing bees from homes, apartments, barns and trees, says that this bee removal isn’t even the biggest of his career so far. In fact, the last home he did before the Gouttierres’ had 15,000 bees.
That’s not to say that 6,000 bees don’t create quite a buzz.