Colony of 50,000 bees removed from Ontario home
It has taken several attempts, but a Cambridge, Ont., woman has finally rid her home of 50,000 unwanted roommates.
Three years ago, Louise Dawe noticed honey dripping down the front of her house and a swarm of bees buzzing around her roof.
While at first she didn't want to kill the black and yellow insects that had taken up residence in her home, she eventually decided that she needed to bring in a pest-control company.
"I like honey but not in the house," Dawe told CTV Kitchener.
"It broke my heart to call an exterminator … because I knew we were losing bees," she added.
Though the fumigation appeared to have worked on the massive colony, the bees came back the following year.
This summer Dawe called in a beekeeper who was more than happy to find a new home for the insects.
Beekeeper David Schuit informed Dawe that extermination kills the bees, but leaves behind honeycombs, which are a potential fire hazard.
"Wax moths will come in and eat the wax, and the honey will begin to flow and it could … end up in your electrical box. Then you've got a fire," said Schuit.
So on Monday, Schuit climbed a ladder to the second-storey hive, pacified the bees with smoke and removed them from the home.
Schuit estimated that the colony would have expanded even further had he not taken action.
"If we didn't take the hive out eventually they would have produced another queen and swarmed looking for somebody else's house to move into," said Schuit.
The honey removed from the roof wasn't salvageable because it was fumigated.
Schuit said his work has grown in importance, because pesticides have led to a global decline in bee populations.
"We save bees (and) we're saving humanity because if there are no bees, there are no pollinators (and) there's no food for humanity," said Schuit.
He added that the bees are healthy and he was excited to give them a new home on his farm.
Schuit's fee starts at $1,500 and Dawe needed to hire a contractor to make repairs to her home's eavestroughs, which were damaged when Schuit pried back parts of the roof to extract the bees.
But it was a price she was willing to pay to finally get rid of her unwanted house guests for good.
"I'm glad it is all going to be cleaned up and hopefully we can seal it all up so they won't choose my property again," said Dawe.
With a report from CTV Kitchener's Ginella Massa