A couple in Omaha, Nebraska were only trying to do good when they planted ‘bee-friendly’ plants outside their home. But soon they discovered that the pollinators that they had hoped to attract had made their home in the walls of their 100-year-old house.
Thomas and Marylu Gouttierre first discovered something was wrong when they noticed clusters of the insects outside their kitchen and bedroom windows. Then the bees started appearing inside the house as well.
The Gouttierre’s home is made from clinker bricks, which is form of construction material that can make it hard to spot when repairs are needed.
The bees were able to find a hole in the mortar and crawl inside.
‘If you put your ears to the wall you could hear the buzzing,’ said Gouttierre told Omaha World-Herald.
‘Our first thought was should we call an exterminator,’ he continued. ‘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.’
Thomas and Marylu Gouttiere found over 6,000 bees in the walls of their home after planting ‘bee-friendly’ plants outside
Instead of exterminating the bees, the Gouttiere’s called upon two services that would transfer the bees to a safer location instead
The Gouttiere’s called Ryan Gilligan of Gilly’s Gold and Larry Cotter of Countryside Acres Aviary, both of whom belong to the Omaha Bee Club, to move the bees safely.
Gilligan has experience in moving bees, and said that while the Gouttiere’s home had 6,000 bees living in it, he recently removed about 15,000 bees from a different home.
The two men worked together to ensure the safety of the bees found in the Gouttiere’s home.
‘Larry sawed the square off. He’s really good with the multi-tool to perform the cuts,’ Gilligan said. ‘I go in and do the removal of the bees.’
The Omaha couple were lucky enough to try some of the bees honey, which the bees produced right inside the walls of their home
‘Lo and behold, there were three perfectly shaped combs maybe about 2 inches thick and maybe about 9 inches in diameter,’ Gouttierre said.
‘If you have ever seen those, it’s remarkable. Each little space in the comb are perfectly engineered hexagonal shapes.’
The bees were transferred to Cottle’s acreage, where the bees can safely make their honey.
The Gouttiere’s situation with the bees had a sweet ending, as the couple got to taste some of the honey that the bees produced in their home.
‘I think in the long run, it’s made us appreciate all the more the value of bees,’ he said, ‘and the importance of them to the process of pollination and all the things insects may do to help us eat.’