Thousands of honey bees invade Folly Beach home

FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCSC) - By Sheldon Dutes  bio | email | Twitter   

FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCSC) - John and Betty Davis don't have to travel far the next time they need honey. Over the past two weeks, their Folly Beach home has been buzzing with activity from some unwanted guests.

"We really didn't know what to do with a swarm of bees moving in," said Mr. Davis.

On May 22, Mrs. Davis said she noticed a swarm of bees on their deck.

"There was a big funnel of bees out there and I just watched it for a while. Gradually, it kept shrinking and shrinking," said Mr. Davis.

But the honey bees didn't disappear. Instead of flying away, they invaded a tiny opening on the side of the Davis' home and set up a colony.

"All they need is an eighth of an inch gap. One of the bees scouted out the dark, dry spot told the other bees and the whole swarm moved in," said beekeeper Scott Biering.

Despite the infestation, the Davis family doesn't appear to be too annoyed with the thriving colony in their walls.

"They didn't bother us or sting us. Our dog put her nose in the hole and nothing happened to her," said Mr. Davis.

Unless a person is allergic, a bee sting is the least of worries when bees infest an area. If there's a hive growing in a home, the homeowners could have a bigger problem on their hands.

"When the colony gets bigger and bigger and the hive gets more honey the heat will cause it to melt. It's would be similar to water damage and could rot wood," said Biering.

Biering cut a hole in the ceiling and used smoke to distract the bees. He eventually pulled out several honey combs that were oozing with fresh honey and covered with the bees.

After collecting the bees in a temporary hive, he'll quarantine them for a little while and take them to a bee yard on Johns Island.

Although they can be a nuisance at times, honey bees are vital to the future of humanity. According to bee experts, they're responsible for one-third of the food people eat. The bees' pollination helps fruits and vegetables and even dairy products like ice cream.

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