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When Thomas and Marylou Gutierre found about 30 bees in one of their bedrooms in May, the couple suspected there were more, many more.

“If you put your ears against the wall, you can hear a buzz,” said Thomas Gutierre. Omaha World-Herald.

The couple eventually discovered that about 6,000 bees had moved into their 100-year-old home in Omaha.

At first, Gutierre was going to call an exterminator, but then they thought about how important bees are to the ecosystem, Gutierre said in an interview with World-Herald. So they called in beekeepers Ryan Gilligan and Larry Cottle, members of the Omaha Bee Club, who ended up removing the insects carefully with a vacuum cleaner.

Gutiérrez’s trial made headlines this month as the art of removing bees gains more and more attention thanks to an entire genre of mesmerizing TikTok videos and humanity’s arguably century-long fascination with bees. Last year, a Florida couple removed 80,000 bees from their home after they started noticing insects flying out of their showers. During the years the bees lived in the house, they produced about 100 pounds of honey, according to The Washington Post.

A Florida couple saw bees coming out of their showers. A huge hive for 80,000 bees was in the wall.

Gilligan told The Post that the 6,000 bees he found in the wall of Gutierre’s house didn’t produce as much honey. The bees probably settled in the house for only a week and a half.

“They were just little pieces [honey]crest because they haven’t had time to build much yet,” Gilligan told The Post.

Gilligan said he and another beekeeper visited the Gutierre home in mid-May. Using a thermal imaging camera to look for winged aliens that have a high heat signature, Gilligan found a large red-orange heat spot on the floor of the Gutierre home, which means there were a lot of bees. On a second inspection a couple of days later, this large thermal patch was no longer in the floor; it was in the Gutierre wall.

“They must have been scouting out a place to build a beehive,” Gilligan said.

So Gilligan and Cottle cut through a concrete stucco wall with an electric multitool. Behind the wall, they found three combs covered with bees and started vacuuming. The bees were sucked through a nozzle and tube and then placed in a collection box large enough to hold about 20,000 bees.

Gilligan said that the vacuum is designed in such a way that only a handful of bees die in the process. “I try to save every bee when we do these projects,” he said.

Working as a postman by day, Gilligan took up beekeeping about six years ago. He has 43 hives, although the bees from the house of Gutierre were not included in this collection. Gilligan told The Post that they were moved to Cottle territory where they live happily.

Most likely, they entered the Gutierre house through a hole in the brick facade of the house.

“I think it ultimately made us appreciate the value of bees even more,” Thomas Gutierre told World-Herald, “and their importance to the pollination process, and all that insects can do for us. there is.”

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The Gouttierres job was one of three apartment moves Gilligan made that year, and it was the smallest. Three days earlier, he removed 12,000 to 15,000 bees from a house, and on Sunday, 24,000 from another house. Gilligan isn’t on TikTok yet, but he shares bee removal on his YouTube channel.

Gilligan said that bees usually swarm or breed in the spring when they search for a new home where they can safely breed. Sometimes they find hollow trees, he said; other times they find old houses with easy access and no insulation, providing a “perfect cavity” for settlement.

“The bees just needed a home to live in,” Gilligan said of the Gutierre home. – And they found it.

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