30,000 bees found inside the buzzing walls of NJ home

bees wall
© Mickey Hegedus

Oh, the secrets a house has to tell. What kind of madness lurks within its walls; and I mean, really within? We can start with creatures ... mice, squirrels, chipmunks, bats, and a whole host of insects come to mind.

Most people have heard some mystery scratching or clicking behind the sheetrock at one point or another, but the acoustics playing out for one Hillside, New Jersey homeowner were decidedly a bit more harmonic than that. There was buzzing, it was "really noisy" and "humming."

Suspecting there were some bees, Mickey the Beekeeper (AKA Mickey Hegedus) was called to the rescue. And yes, there were some bees. Upon removing a section of wall, Hegedus found a lot of bees. And then more and more and more. All told there were some 30,000 of them, along with a whopping 40 pounds of honey.

“This is insane,” Hegedus says in a video showing the reveal.

“What I’m doing is I’m slowly cutting out each piece of lath – and as I do it, it just exposes more bees and more honey and more comb,” the third-generation beekeeper says with a surprisingly upbeat demeanor. “These are Africanized – these are the most aggressive bees I think I’ve ever cut out of a hive.”

And because they were so aggressive, they stung him around 30 times, whereas usually he might only get a half dozen or so. (This must be a man who really loves his job.)

Hegedus told The Washington Post that it appeared that the bees had been getting into the house through an outside opening meant for electrical wiring. The Post reports: "Because these bees are so aggressive, they’re better foragers and collect more honey and build more comb than most bees; they’re also more defensive, he said. All of those factors, along with a warm spring, contributed to the hive’s large size."

Using the tricks of a bee whisperer (and a special bee vacuum, because why not) he was able to save about 95 percent of the hive. Especially given the struggle honey bees are facing, exterminating them is seen as a last option – in some states it is even illegal to kill colonies without approval from appropriate agencies, explains The Post.

After five hours spent removing the bees, he found that he was unable to keep the bees or even give them away, despite earlier reporting that they'd be given to a church that lost its hive. They were too aggressive. Instead they were treated to a vacation in an isolated area in Mountainside, New Jersey ... where hopefully they'll take kindly to country life.

Tags: Bees | Insects

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