What’s a bee gotta do to keep from being evicted around here? 450,000 of Pennsylvania’s honey-making insects want to know.
Bees are wonderful. Every Outsider knows this. They’re vital to pollinating our ecosystems, make delicious honey, and are real cute and fuzzy when you get down to it. But half-a-million of them in the walls of your home? Now that’s a slightly different story.
More specifically, it’s Sara Weaver’s story. Weaver and her family wound up purchasing a farmhouse in Skippack, Pennsylvania where, “on the seller’s disclosure, it said ‘bees in wall,’” she tells CNN.
“I didn’t really ask any questions about those bees,” she adds. “I didn’t think it would be that big of an issue.”
This small notice was, after all, the only warning she would receive. Couldn’t be that big of a deal, then, right? It didn’t seem to warrant a home inspection, either, as Sara and her husband were “just so floored that we actually found land in the [school] district that was within our price range.”
Should’ve gotten that home inspection, Sara. Because when “spring arrived… That’s when we started to see them,” she continues.
And by “them,” Sara means the over 450,000 honey bees you’ll see below. All in the walls of her newly-purchased home.
Weaver does, however, say that she now realizes she did see one other warning sign. She just didn’t know what it was.
“[Now] that I’m thinking about it, I originally thought it was dirt on the windows that I cleaned but it was probably honey because there were drip marks,” she reveals to CNN.
Honey Bees Spent Decades in 1800s Farm House Before $12,000 Eviction
According to Sara, their “new” home is actually a farmhouse dating back well over a century to 1872. It was in “horrendous” shape when they bought it, but the Weavers were determined to make it work. Bees and all.
With their first spring in the house, the Weaver’s began noticing a true problem. But they never could’ve guessed the extent. Just in case, they brought in a professional to evict the bees safely, where they would live on the pro’s farm making honey.
Said professional is PA beekeeper and honey farmer Allan Lattanzi. And Lattanzi had seen this house before.
According to the New York Post, Lattanzi immediately recognized the house upon showing up for the job. Apparently, the previous owner had called his Yerkes Honey Farm to perform the removal four years earlier. They were unable to pay the price of eviction, however. So the owner sold the some instead. And the Weaver’s were the first to go through with it.
So how much does it cost to evict half a million bees, you ask? A cool $12,000.
Surprisingly, Lattanzi says “The bees were docile for a colony that has been in there for a while… Normally when a colony is in a dwelling for a while, they’re usually defensive.”
But the pro was able to evict all 450,000 bees with only “five or six” stings in the week it took to do so.
Now, it seems, the Weaver’s can finally enjoy their farmhouse. More importantly, one of Pennsylvania’s largest bee populations can continue to make honey in peace.