The Grahams could have never guessed that their newly bought family home in Tampa, Florida, came with an unpleasant surprise. They had moved to one of the best and calmest districts in the city.
But there was nothing that could make them expect what was hiding in their bathroom. And when they found out about it, it looked like something straight out of a horror movie.
John and Stephanie Graham had been looking forward to moving to their new house for months. They had been living in New York for a few years. But the noise and bustle of the city had gotten old quickly, and there were better places to raise their two children.
So they had chosen Tampa as their new place of residence. They bought a nice house in one of the city’s best suburban areas. But nothing could prepare them for what they would find there.
At first, everything seemed alright. The house was everything that they could have ever hoped for. The weather was way better than in New York, and so was the atmosphere. And the neighborhood seemed like a perfect place to raise their kids and keep them happy and safe.
But they were in for a real surprise. There was something about the house that hadn’t been mentioned by the real estate agency.
One morning, Stephanie was in the bathroom near the couple’s bedroom. She was brushing her teeth and, at first, she didn’t notice anything strange. But after she was done, something called her attention. She heard it.
There was some weird noise reverberating against the bathroom walls. She stood quiet for a while, trying to discern what it could be. It was like some kind of buzzing. But she couldn’t put her finger on what was it.
At first, Stephanie didn’t think the noise was a big deal. She heard it every now and then, but nobody else seemed to hear it.
She brushed it off the first few times she heard it, but the noise that had begun intermittently seemed to become more frequent. Now, she heard it every time she was in the bathroom. What could it be?
Usually, when you hear a sound in your home, you can tell where it’s coming from and determine what’s causing it.
Things like dripping faucets and creaky pipes are easy to locate, but this sound was strangely impossible to pinpoint. It seemed to come from the entire bathroom, but Stephanie also started to hear it faintly in other parts of the house.
The revelation hit Stephanie suddenly – the noise was coming from inside the walls! Horrified, she imagined hoards of rats scuttling inside there.
But that didn’t make sense. How were they getting in? It was a new house, and there were no gaps in the walls – it was sealed up tight. But things only got worse from there.
The weird buzzing kept echoing against the corners and walls. At first, it had almost gone unnoticed by Stephanie, but now it was impossible to ignore. It just filled the whole bathroom.
But Stephanie couldn’t guess what it could be. She inspected all the lockers and nooks, and she didn’t find anything. Puzzled, she went back to the room and told John about it.
Stephanie’s husband went to take a look at the bathroom as well. He noticed the buzzing too and was also bewildered by it. Just like Stephanie, he checked every possible corner and nook where something might be hidden.
Still, he found nothing. The buzzing noise was overwhelming; but at first sight, there didn’t seem to be anything in the bathroom that might be causing it. Suddenly, a possible explanation crossed John’s mind.
Maybe it was something wrong with the plumbing system? That seemed like the most reasonable explanation. That would explain why the noise seemed to echo all around the bathroom.
They hired a plumber to take a look at the pipes. But there seemed to be nothing wrong. The house was new, and so was the plumbing system. The Grahams were left with no answer to what was that sound. At least for now.
And for the next weeks, they had to live with that buzzing noise. It started becoming unbearable. Every time it got louder and louder. What used to be difficult to notice at first became a major annoyance.
Until one day, the Grahams noticed something. Something started happening that would give away what was behind that eerie noise.
John and Stephanie investigated the kitchen. The noise was louder in here, too – it wasn’t just in the bathroom anymore. Then, Stephanie noticed that the whole room smelled sickeningly sweet and familiar…but she couldn’t quite place the smell.
Something had pooled on the floor in a thick stain against the far wall, and this was where the smell was coming from.
Stephanie and John inspected the dark puddle on the floor. And then they saw that there was something oozing down the wall in thick dark trails.
It looked like very dark tree sap, but how could that be possible? The entire surface of the wall was slick with it. There was no denying it now. Something was very wrong with their house.
Stephanie had been kept up all night by the noise that seemed to grow louder and louder. She was taking a cool shower when she suddenly saw something. There were bees flying around her! But how did they get in there?
It wasn’t even summer, the door and window were closed, and she had never seen any bees around the house. Soon, she noticed that they were going in and out some tiny holes between the bathroom tiles. That’s when she finally knew what was going on.
So that’s where the overwhelming buzzing noise came from! Apparently, there were bees living behind the shower walls. Maybe there even was a whole hive.
There must have been so many bees that their honey had started to seep through the molding and cornices in the kitchen – which shared a wall with the bathroom. She felt a sense of calm now that she knew that the sound she had been fixating on had a logical cause.
Immediately, Stephanie called her husband and told him about what she’d seen. They decided to call a local bee removal expert so she could handle the issue.
The bee removal expert arrived in a big white van. And when she finally went to work and found out what was behind the shower walls, they were all blown away.
In order to confirm that there could be bees inside the wall, the bee removal expert scanned it with a thermal imaging camera, which detects heat.
Bees generate heat by vibrating their wings, which keeps their hives at a toasty 35 degrees Celsius. When the thermal image showed a dark red patch deep withiin the shower walls, the Grahams finally had their answer.
The bee removal expert had to break the shower walls down. Stephanie was aghast when she removed the remaining bricks and revealed the inside wall of the home.
But there was just one problem: they were more than what anyone could expect. There were at least 35,000 bees residing within. They had never seen anything like it.
There was a giant hive hidden behind the Grahams’ shower walls! It was at least 7 feet tall. There were hundreds of thousands of bees, all humming and buzzing within the space in the wall.
The Grahams were shocked when they saw it; but the bee removal expert, named Elisha Bixler, had reasons to be excited about the finding.
Elisha Bixler was also the owner of a beekeeping company. And naturally, she was delighted by the discovery. So much that she decided to record it and share it on her TikTok profile.
“Look at all that honey!” Bixler exclaims on the video while poking at the big syrupy structure with her finger, “I’m going to take them home to one of my apiaries.” But things didn’t end there.
For a few days, the Grahams’ house was sealed by the firemen; the family just couldn’t live next to a giant and potentially dangerous beehive.
Initially, the plan was for Bixler to remove the giant hive and move it to one of her vehicles. But soon enough, it became evident that this would be impossible. The hive was just too big.
There was nothing that could be done about the hive at that moment. It couldn’t be placed in Bixler’s property, it couldn’t be removed and the local laws made it illegal to just exterminate the bees.
So there was only one option left: the Grahams’ house remained sealed for the time being, and insurance gave them their money back.
Fortunately, the Grahams were granted a temporary substitute house by the real estate agency. And this one didn’t come with a secret giant beehive hidden between its walls.
But the hive house remained sealed indefinitely; at least, until the local authorities and bee removal experts managed to get coordinated and managed to find a solution for the humongous hive.
The voids inside walls are extremely attractive to honeybees seeking permanent nesting sites. Although the house had been sealed and insulated properly, there was a tiny gap in the caulk and wall on the house’s exterior, around the plumbing.
If you have a bee colony living inside your walls, don’t try to deal with them yourself. When beehives are disturbed, they can be lethal.
Although swarms can be dangerous, honeybees play an extremely important role in the ecosystem.
Because they are effective pollinators of fruits, flowers, and vegetables, they are vital in ensuring that we have food. Without them, growing one third of all our food wouldn’t be possible. That’s why you shouldn’t exterminate them if you find a beehive.
Sadly, entire colonies of bees have disappearing throughout the world. Their populations are dwindling, but scientists don’t know why.
Billions of bees leave their hives worldwide but never return. This is called “colony collapse disorder,” and it’s so bad in some areas that these regions have lost 90% of their bees. In fact, if this continues, bees are predicted to eventually become extinct.
There are a total of eight bee species that are listed on the endangered species list. Like so many other endangered animals, bee populations are dwindling due to habit loss, invasive species, natural disasters, and the overuse of pesticides.
But there are things everyone can do to help the bees – you can even help out from your own backyard.
You can help the bees by planting fruits and flowers that bees are attracted to. Find out which bee species live nearby, and find out which plants they collect pollen from. Generally, bees are attracted to blue, white, and purple flowers.
At the same time, avoid using synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizer that might negatively affect the bees.
When bees move into your home, follow the Graham family’s lead and call a professional bee removal service. Simply spraying pesticide into the hive won’t help you in the long run, either.
If you kill the colony of bees, the remaining honey will drip down into your home. This could end up costing more to repair than removing the bees humanely.
Using smoke to drive an inconveniently located bee colony away is the most humane DIY option. Honey bees are extremely sensitive to smell – when they smell smoke, they think there is a forest fire threatening their home.
Smoking out a bee hive with a smoking piece of cardboard and dead firewood will cause the bee colony to leave and never come back.