Today Bee's the Day
We were forewarned about these house guests returning year after year to this same spot on the front of the house. Janna was far too excited about the prospects of gold, aka honey, to realize bee farming might not exactly 'bee' what we had in mind when we bought a farm. So, after much discussion with a bee keeper, our contractor and most importantly the cheap labor, aka ME, we decided that the front exterior wall must be exposed to clean out the bees and any honeycomb. Basically, getting rid of the bees is only one step, cleaning out all the honeycomb and sealing it up is equally important to keeping bees from smelling this location next year and making their way back in.
Time to Suit Up
The only thing better than cheap labor: free labor. So I zip up, Velcro up, double check, triple check. Still not sure, I ask the bee keeper, Michael, to check my suit. "That should do", he says.
We begin with taking the fascia board and trim piece off. Some bees start swarming. Then we jump down to the first lap siding board and pop it off. Jackpot. We pull off 4-5 feet of siding until we finally see the bottom of the honeycomb. Un-bee-lievable. This is like something you see on the internet and other places you see things that aren't real. But this, this is very real.
Time to find a new home....for the bees.
Michael cuts the honeycomb roughly to the size of the hive boxes and hands them to me one at a time. He comes down and trims them to fit and places them in the box. The honeycomb spanned stud to stud, which for old houses is 2 feet, and was three honeycomb layers deep. INSANE. After Michael kept what he could, and saved us some for honey, the rest went into a scrap bucket. We scraped and cleaned out the cavity of the studs and left it exposed to treat it and fill the void to keep them from returning.