Bees rarely make it into the news cycle if they are not being menaced by almond milk, murder hornets, the actor Gerard Butler, or something like that. So it’s nice, for a change, to come across this heartwarming story of bees being gently sucked up into a bee vacuum and subsequently released, in a high-stakes rescue mission from a CNN employee’s ceiling.
CNN reports that shortly after moving into a new house in Georgia in November 2018, a 26-year-old employee of the network named George Montgomery noticed buzzing coming from his ceiling and realized that sound was bees. “You could hear them slapping against the wall as they landed to crawl into the hive,” he said in an interview. The beehive was nestled in the floor joists between the home’s upstairs and downstairs.
And yet Montgomery waited until February to do anything about it, worried that retaining a bee-removal service would be too expensive for him. After he was accosted by a swarm of bees while mowing his lawn, Montgomery called Georgia Bee Removal and got placed on a wait list. Last week, a team of three bee removers showed up at his house.
According to one of the bee catchers, Bobby Chaisson, the colony in Montgomery’s ceiling contained about 100,000 bees, which is on the crowded end of bee real estate (a typical colony contains between 10,000 and 80,000 bees). He and his team were equipped with a trusty bee vacuum, a custom-built machine that sucked the bees from the CNN employee’s house without damaging the critters.
It’s soothing to imagine a giant vacuum humming away with the traffic of a temporarily displaced bee city. I’ll try to fall asleep to that image tonight. And we can all rest easy knowing the bees were reestablished at a new hive in North Georgia on Chaisson’s property, the 60 pounds of honeycomb wax was melted down and donated to a local craftsperson, and a 26-year-old CNN employee is a homeowner with a lawn and a lawn mower.