A Florida couple had a massive beehive containing some 80,000 bees behind their bathroom wall, where the insects had been living, likely for years, and had produced roughly 100 pounds of honey, a bee removal expert said.
A time-lapse video shows beekeeper and bee relocation expert Elisha Bixler breaking bathroom tiles to expose the huge swarm.
Bixler, who has her own bee relocation service called How’s Your Day Honey, said the homeowners called her in October, explaining that they had known there was a hive in the wall for some time but were not too concerned until recently, when the bees slowly started to escape into their bathroom. The husband was stung at least once, Bixler said.
The couple wanted to have the bees relocated rather than exterminated, Bixler said.
Bixler said she used a thermal gun to find the precise location of the bees, then started removing tiles. “As I was breaking the tiles, the beehive just didn’t stop — it went floor to ceiling. I ended up pulling all the tiles out down to the studs and all that was left was that ginormous 7-foot beehive,” she said.
It took Bixler more than five hours to scoop up all the bees and collect all their honey, which she was hauling away in buckets and trash bags, she said.
“There was honey everywhere — walls, doorknobs, my shoes,” she explained. “It was a sticky mess.”
Bixler said the hive was one of the largest she has seen — and the first one that she has removed from a shower. She said she transported the bees to her personal property, where she is rehabilitating them before relocating them to a working apiary where they can once again make honey.
As for how the bees got into the bathroom, Bixler said the homeowners told her that they had their roof redone several years ago and believe that a small hole may have been left behind that allowed the bees to enter.
Bixler said this was not the first time that these homeowners found a hive in their bathroom. But the first one was small and the husband removed it on his own, she was told.
In Florida, discoveries such as this one are not that uncommon this time of year, Bixler said. She explained that from March to November, when the weather is warmer, bees are the most active, so homeowners are more likely to see them. However, she said it is not advisable for homeowners to remove the hives themselves.