The farmhouse where I grew up has been occupied continuously since 1872, except for the past several years. After the heating system broke, the owner moved into the smaller house on the property. But even during that “vacant” period the house actually was occupied. Just not by people.
Honey bees took up residence in the east wall many years ago, as it turns out. They were actually there as long ago as 1991 when Mom and Dad moved out, I’ve learned. The new owner apparently did little to discourage them over the past 22 years and their numbers grew. Walking by the side of the house now it’s very apparent there are lots of bees. They can be seen coming and going from the entrance hole in the siding just above the porch roof.
That side of the house needs some work. Well, every side needs some work, but on this side a window is falling apart and a gutter needed to be replaced. So it was past time to do something with the bees. I, however, was not about to get up there on a ladder while bees were buzzing around. So last week we got a bee keeper to come out and solve our problem. He came with a giant vacuum. Opening the side of the house, he sucked the bees into his vacuum apparatus and took them away. It took him two days. He said there were at least 70,000 bees. “They just kept coming,” he said. They had colonized an area between two studs and were very much at home. I wasn’t there, but he said it was quite a job.
We’re happy the bees could be moved, given the decline in bee populations across the country. We hope they don’t come back. Goodness knows there are plenty of other cracks and crevices in that house where bees could find entry.And now to fix that window and gutter. Another project is just what I was hoping for.