Stefanie and Dan Graham were surprised when they discovered over 80,000 bees living in their shower wall. The St. Petersburg, Florida couple said that they always spotted bees in their bathroom but didn’t think the infestation was that serious.
“We both really love nature, and we love bees,” Stefanie told the Times. “We’re like, ‘We’ll leave you alone. You leave us alone.’ They were nice bees. So, we were like, ‘Sure, go ahead, live in our shower.'”
When they decided to renovate their bathroom, they called in Elisha Bixler, who runs How’s Your Day Honey, a bee relocation and removal company. The Grahams wanted to make sure any of the ones they found in the bathroom would be safely moved somewhere else. They never expected to be outnumbered by the black and yellow insects.
When Bixler removed the shower tiles she found a seven-foot-tall hive. It was mostly honey, Bixler estimates about 100 pounds, but there were also over 80,000 bees living inside. She posted videos of the beehive on her TikTok and the video has gone viral.
“As soon as I saw where they were, I started breaking away the tile and unveiling this massive seven-foot hive,” she said. “Most of it was honey.”
This was Bixler’s first bathroom removal. According to the 35-year-old she is usually called to remove the insects from sheds, roofs and other outdoor areas. She said the bees were extra aggressive in the bathroom, and she had to put on more protective clothing after she was stung a couple times.
Since posting the video to TikTok, the bee removal video has gotten over 700K likes.
According to Stefanie and Dan Graham, the bee removal took over five hours and cost them $800, which wasn’t covered by insurance. Bixler told them to stay away since there were so many insects, but Mrs. Graham couldn’t help but sneak a peek at the strange infestation.
The mother of two said her family wasn’t afraid of all the bees in their home. They had gotten used to them living there, especially after a couple stings. According to Graham, she thinks that prior work on the roof might have caused little holes that allowed the bees into their home.
Two years before, Mr. Graham had ripped out the same shower wall and removed a much smaller hive. Experts believe the smell from that hive caused the new bees to build their home in the Graham’s shower.
To remove the insects, Elisha Bixler used a thermal heat gun to locate the hive under the wall. According to Bixler, a typical beehive measures around 96 degrees. After removing the tile, she searched through the insects to find the queen, and quickly put her into a box.
Without their queen in the hive, the other bees automatically followed the box and removed themselves from the wall. It is their nature to follow their queen. She also used a special gun to suck up any bees that were left behind in the bathroom wall. After they were gone, Bixler was able to remove the honeycomb and pack everything up to take to her farm.
According to Bixler, she will be relocating the hive so that they won’t be disturbed by other renovation projects. She will also be taking care of any sick bees in the hive and bringing back some of the honey so they can start their home again.
The 35-year-old left some of the honey with the Grahams so they can eat it and remember their bizarre bathroom guests.