How does a honey problem occur, honey is delicious? It’s not really the honey, it’s a bee problem. The funny thing is that often a colony of bees living inside the roof or wall of someone’s house can go unnoticed, sometimes for weeks, even months.
The house owners leave for work before the bees become active, and return after the bees have become quiet again. They’re only discovered when a neighbor points them out, or possibly during the day at a weekend when there is gardening to be done.
Of course once their presence is noticed, they become a ‘bee problem’. Then they have to be removed. I am pleased to say that many people now accept that honey bees are a wonderful resource and should be protected wherever possible.
While bees are in a cavity, going about their business, I get many calls wanting to find someone who can remove the bees alive. When I have such conversations I always try to emphasize one thing. CONSIDER THE HONEY! The honey bee photo below shows honeycomb built inside a disused hot-tub. Now don’t get me wrong comb honey is delicious, but honey comb should be in a bee hive or perhaps a honey jar, not a hot-tub.
They air-condition their space. If the temperature is too low, they generate heat, if it’s too hot, they cool it down. Bees were able, in some sense, to ‘air-condition’ their living space long before we were even walking on our hind legs.
If the bees are removed by any means and full combs are left behind, problems can arise. Once the bees aren’t there to air-condition the space and maintain the honeycombs, they can warm, soften and leak. Once the comb begins to leak, water is absorbed and it begins to ferment.
Having, potentially, 60lbs – 100lbs of liquid gold fermenting in one’s roof is not appealing. It will attract pests, rats, mice and ants. And it will begin to DRIP down the walls and through the ceiling!
I was called to a local motel where the owner, with a bee problem, had called an exterminator to kill two colonies of bees, one in each end of the building. The temperature had climbed to over 100°F (38°C) and there was a sticky goo, laced with insecticide, dripping out of the eaves. Someone had placed a bucket underneath to catch the mess. It was too late for me to help in any way. I have no idea what he did, but I’m sure it cost many thousands of dollars to fix.