New York Homeowner Finds Bounty of Bees

July 28th, 2015


New York Homeowner Finds Bounty of Bees

A woman and her husband from Walkill discovered last week that their home improvement project may take a little longer than expected.  Before investing in new siding, about a million bees need to be evicted.

The couple had some idea they were living with a bee colony, because they’d seen evidence while removing trees days earlier.  Yet in their wildest imagination, they could not have expected the extent of bees they later found.

The man, whose wife is allergic to bees, immediately stopped the yardwork and called a local beekeeper.

When professionals with bee removal experience arrived and began pulling off the house’s old siding, they found hundreds of thousands of insects packed together, nesting between the siding and the house’s brick exterior.

The Witschard brothers, whose father owns a few beekeeping farms in the area, came in to help.  They estimated that the removal would take at least two weeks due to the size of the colony.

The brothers explained the process for relocating the bees.

First, they cut out the honeycombs, then place them into stacking boxes with sliding compartments, along with “as many bees as will follow the queen,” said Marcel Witschard, Jr.

There are compartments for the pollen the bees have already gathered, and a sequestered area for the brood plus eggs. The honey is collected separately in pails. To help remove reluctant bees, the brothers use a specially designed, padded vacuum cleaner.

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