Building owners in Richmond, Va., were in for a terrifying surprise after they followed up a tenant complaint about bees flying out of their apartment’s air conditioning ducts.
The Virginia Wildlife Management and Control posted on Facebook that a massive 8-foot-long hive was hidden in the ceiling of the apartment over the living room.
For context, a hive of that size could support 100,000 to 150,000 bees. Luckily, the hive was “not fully occupied” when the discovery was made.
According to Rich Perry, the owner of the wildlife control company, it was extremely unusual to have a hive of that size inside the home.
“We’ve dealt with hives before on the outsides of homes, in outside walls, but never inside the ceiling,” he told McClatchy News.
While the location of the apartment has stay anonymous, it was between tenants at the time, which would explain why no one heard thousands of bees buzzing. Perry estimates that the hive was at least two years old.
The property owner admitted that they had tried to remove the hive last summer.
“We used saws to cut a 6-foot opening the ceiling,” Perry said. “And we kept having to make the hole bigger. The hive just kept going and going.”
The Virginia Wildlife Management and Control has a “no-kill” policy when it comes to hives. Instead, “great effort” was taken by the team to try to locate the queen in order to move her and hope the entourage would follow.
Unfortunately, the plan failed, and the hive could not be saved. It’s unclear what ended up happening with the bees, although the Facebook post states: “And no, we don’t EVER terminate Honey bees!”
The hive also produced 80 to 100 pounds of honey, 15 to 20 pounds of which was salvaged by the team and dubbed uncontaminated enough to eat.
Commenters on the Facebook post varied from curious to full-on grossed out. One person asked if the room felt “like it was vibrating” and another asked if the previous tenants left because honey was “dripping from the ceiling.”
“I would die,” wrote another, less curious Facebook user.
“Looks like snakes! EAWWW!” someone commented on one of the photos.
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