Up to 100,000 bees removed from Toronto-area home
Published Wednesday, June 21, 2017 6:30PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 21, 2017 8:33PM EDT
A Greater Toronto Area woman has spent the last five to 10 years living with as many as 100,000 industrious, buzzing roommates inside the walls of her home. Now, it’s time for the Italian honey bees to move out.
“They sting if you attack them,” the homeowner told CTV Toronto on Wednesday. “We thought they were wasps.”
Living with the massive colony wasn’t all bad, she said, comparing their home in the walls to a “separate apartment.” She said she did not realize there were so many until a friend pressed his ear to the wall and heard the buzzing.
“All I know is there is a lot of them,” she said. “They are very busy.”
ICE Pest Control handled the move. Workers in bee suits pumped in calming smoke, and pried away boards from the outside of the building to reveal a sprawling network of honeycomb underneath.
“I’ve never seen that many bees before. It’s huge,” said pest control worker Nathan Thompson.
Relocating the colony is delicate work. Until about a decade ago, they would have been killed. Now, with bee populations in decline, there is a concerted effort to keep them alive.
The crew used a special vacuum system to suck the bees into plastic containers. Pails of recovered honeycomb will be used to help them settle into their new home with a local beekeeper. Some of it will be refined into honey.
The bees did not seem particularly happy about the eviction. The pest workers said they could feel them bouncing off their protective suits their home was dismantled.
“It’s like they don’t want us here,” joked one worker.
With a report from CTV Toronto’s Scott Lightfoot