6,000 Bees Removed From Walls of Nebraska Home: ‘You Could Hear the Buzzing’

by Amy Myers

In Omaha, Nebraska, a couple heard a consistent buzzing in their home, and it wasn’t coming from their phones. After planting numerous bee-friendly plants in their yard, Thomas and Marylu Gouttierre found that 6,000 of the crucial critters had decided to set up shop in their 100-year-old home.

Like many earth-conscious homeowners, the Goutierres knew that it was important to support pollinating insects like bees and butterflies. So, they decided to invest in a few flowering plants that would encourage the bugs to complete their seasonal duties. What the well-meaning couple didn’t realize, though, was that they had apparently lit a beacon for the bees to build a hive in the walls of their antique home.

“If you put your ears to the wall you could hear the buzzing,” retired dean at the University of Nebraska at Omaha Thomas Gouttierre told the Omaha World-Herald. Thomas used to lead the Center for Afghanistan Studies at the university, back before he owned a “Bee” and B.

The accidental bee-keeping couple believe that the insects infiltrated the home through a hole in the mortar. The house boasted old-style clinker bricks which makes it difficult to determine if there is any damage. The Gouttierres only found out about the hive when they saw a cluster of bees buzzing around their kitchen window. When they investigated further, they found about 30 more in a second-floor bedroom that likely found their way in through an old heat register.

Nebraska Couple Chooses to Humanely Remove Bees from Home

Naturally, the Omaha-native couple didn’t want to share their home with 6,000 winged tenants. However, they knew that these creatures were vital to their environment. They didn’t panic, though. According to the Gouttierres, they calmly closed the door to the bedroom and considered their options.

“Our first thought was should we call an exterminator,” Thomas Gouttierre said. “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.”

Instead, they opted for a more eco-friendly mediator – Ryan Gilligan of Gilly’s Gold and Larry Cottle of Countryside Acres Aviary. Both men are members of the Omaha Bee Club and were the best people for the job.

Before the team could remove all of the combs, though, the Gouttierres had to try a bit of the honey. It was almost like a tip from the bees for letting them rent out their spare bedroom.

“I think in the long run, it’s made us appreciate all the more the value of bees and the importance of them to the process of pollination and all the things insects may do to help us eat,” Thomas concluded.