8:40 AM PDT, October 22, 2021
When a couple purchased their Pennsylvania home, they had no idea that there were an estimated 450,000 bees living its walls. Sara Weaver and her husband bought a farmhouse from 1872, knowing it would need some work, but didn’t realize thousands of bees had taken up residence in the Skippack house for more than three decades, CNN reported.
The seller did say there were “bees in the wall,” and they hadn’t done a home inspection before buying the property.
“On the seller’s disclosure it said ‘bees in wall’ and that was it and I think because one, we didn’t see them and two, we were just so floored that we actually found land in the (school) district that was within our price range that I didn’t really ask any questions about those bees,” Weaver told CNN. “I didn’t think it would be that big of an issue. It didn’t even cross my mind but when spring arrived that’s when we started to see them.”
They realized later that what they thought was dirt on the windows, was probably honey drip marks, Weaver told the station. The couple had to pay $12,000 to have the bee colony safely removed and the home restructured.
When the couple contacted Allan Lattanzi to help removed the bees, an experienced beekeeper and general contractor, Lattanzi said he had been to the house before but the previous owner sold the house because she could not afford to have the work done.
Lattanzi removed the bees over the span of a week, making sure to find the queen.
“The bees were docile for a colony that has been in there for a while,” Lattanzi told CNN. “Normally when a colony is in a dwelling for a while they’re usually defensive. Normally when I pull a slate tile off a house I’m instantaneously covered in very defensive bees attacking me, but most of these girls were pretty docile — throughout the entire process I may have only gotten stung five or six times.”
The bees are gone now and the couple is renting out the home, but will live in it themselves one day, they said.