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How discovering a beehive in their ceiling led this couple to a greater understanding of God's laws

by | Jan. 22, 2021

In this week's episode of  This Is the Gospel, when a neighbor tells Kristen and Matt they have bees coming in and out their house, they initially don't think anything of it. But after some investigation, they find thousands of the winged creatures have taken up residence in the ceiling of their New York home. Facing the dilemma of how to remove the critters, Kristen and Matt learn an important lesson of the value of life and all of God's creations.

An adapted excerpt from the story is below. Listen to the full episode here or read the full transcript here

Note: This excerpt has been edited for clarity.

Kristen

Earlier this summer, our neighbor—we have a lovely, lovely neighbor next door who had been furloughed from her job, and so she would be outside all day every day working in her garden. 

And one day I just went to say hello to her. And she said, "Hey, Kristen, I think you have some bees. I think you have a beehive." And I went, "What?" 

She pointed out to me where some bees—and there wasn't a lot of them, it was just a couple—were walking in and out this little tiny crack in our siding. We have an older house.  It has brick and then it has some siding and it was just kind of this teeniest little space. 

Matt

So we start to check every day, and sure enough, you can see little bees coming in and out of this crack, but I don't know what's behind there.

Kristen 

Yeah. And we weren't quite ready to peel off the siding or anything. By this time we are we're pretty sure—based on our oh-so-scientific knowledge—that they are indeed honeybees. Because they weren't trying to kill you. They weren't "wasp-y." They looked more like honey bees. 

Matt 

The first reaction we had was, "Well maybe, let's call an exterminator and see what it would cost." And I was ambivalent about it because I really like bees. Bees do important work. They pollinate, they make honey. 

So we got an estimate for an exterminator, and it was already a lot of money. So I was like, why not—let's pursue the avenue of maybe somebody who's a beekeeper, or who specializes in removing bees. 

Kristen  

What do you even call that bee guy, that would help remove a hive and find it a new home? And so we just kept googling like, "bee relocation," whatnot. And I stumbled on this guy, he finally comes out, and he busts out electronic tools like a little radar thing, a stethoscope. . .

Matt   

Infrared, like a heat-seeking camera. 

Kristen   

He first starts using the infrared thing to kind of identify where the bees are and how hard would it be to get to them. And then he uses a like a regular doctor's stethoscope to listen in on their activity, and whatnot. And it was just fascinating.

Matt    

As we were standing outside with him and looking at the one place where we knew that they were coming in and out, and I think he just kind of casually said, "Oh, I think you have a second one, too." And sure enough, like 10 feet to the left, there was another crack in the sort of the older brick part of the house. 

Kristen   

Right by the fireplace. 

Matt  

Right by the fireplace where we saw bees coming in and out, and so then we're like, "Oh, great." 

Kristen  

So then he said, "Alright, well, let me think on it. And just watch it. You guys just watch it and let me know." And so for next few days, we're watching and I'm taking photos and videos and things. And one day, it was nuts. It was like the bee highway rush hour. And it was just swarms, thousands and thousands of bees. 

And we went, "Are you kidding me?" It was crazy how many there were, and we went outside and I'm filming it. And we couldn't believe our eyes. Like we had no idea there would be that many in there, or if they were all in there, or was it like a convention that they were suddenly coming? 

And so we thought, oh my gosh, what are we going to do now? Now it's getting serious because we have just seen that many thousands of bees flying in and out different parts of our house. And that's when we did start getting a little nervous about it. 

We're thinking, oh no this can be a lot of damage. This could be really serious.   

And so then as soon as I stop the video, I text the bee guy the videos, and we hear nothing, nothing at all. He just ghosts us. We never hear back. 

I started looking again online, and I happened to tell a co-worker about it. My co-worker tells me about a friend who happens to have bees on the side just as a hobby. He happens to be a roofer by trade, so I call him and talk to him and he's like, "Nope, not what I do." He actually puts it out on a beekeeping group within Western New York. 

And somehow one of the guys that's on this Facebook group is interested—that he would like to come relocate it for us. He works with the public gardens that are around town that are trying to establish bees at these different community gardens. And he wants to do this. 

Matt   

Like urban community gardens. 

Kristen  

Right. And so we thought this is outstanding, how great! These bees could be useful to our community, we'll be giving back, they'll have a purpose, but we still had no idea what it would entail. 

And side note, this guy's like a hobbyist beekeeper. 

Matt   

Yeah, it was clear that he was trying to break into this, profession, whatever you call it. 

Kristen   

So another interesting component is that this beekeeper that decided he wanted to come and help is deaf. And we don't know sign language, so mostly we're trying to explain the situation via text. 

Then we kind of decide a game plan on how we're going to do this. And he kind of talks us through it—texts us through it—you know, and kind of shows us, we're in our family room and he's kind of marking it out. And he says he's going to get all the supplies and he's going to come back another day and it should only take a little while. 

Matt   

I was a little bit hesitant, right? 

Kristen  

Yeah, well cause he was saying he's gonna cut open the ceiling. And Matt's going, "Are you kidding?" 

Matt   

Originally, when the first bee removal guy came, I was under the impression that, yeah, it would work like a Pied Piper. That he would set up a hive, a new hive, outside the house, he would do something to you know lure the bees out of the house and into this new hive, which – great—minimal damage to the house.

I was never very clear, so maybe that was always a completely naive idea of how it's gonna happen, but I thought that he'd explained something like that. So then when the second bee removal guy was here, and he was telling us, "Oh yeah, I'm just gonna cut your ceiling open," trepidation would be the right way to describe what I was feeling at that point. 

Kristen 

But by this point, we were kinda like, what else do we do? 

Matt   

Yeah. The other thing that sort of was setting up expectations, at least for the timing, is the second bee removal guy would send us these YouTube videos of people demonstrating how they remove bees, and the people in these videos, of course, we're very professional from what it looked like in the video. Looked like it was a maybe a three-hour job or something. They come in, cut open the ceiling, vacuum the bees out, and then patch it up, too and that was it. 

So that also gave us the impression that it would just be a quick and dirty job.

Kristen  

It didn't happen that way.

To find out what happened to the bees in Kristen's and Matt's home, listen to the full episode here or read the full transcript here.

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