A family was shocked to discover their house was one big beehive after noticing honey dripping down the walls.
Kate and Andrew Dempsey, who live with their two daughters in Folkestone, Kent found huge six-foot pieces of honeycomb and litres of honey under their floorboards.
The couple had previously spotted some dark patches on their walls but assumed it was just damp.
But when they noticed ‘black sticky stuff’ dripping down their bedroom wall and a sweet smell in the air they decided to investigate further.
Speaking about the incredible find, Kate, a diversity and inclusion advisor, said: ‘We’d never seen anything like it. The sheer volume of the hive was huge.
‘We kept cutting these floorboards away and more and more honeycomb kept appearing.
‘The smell hit you immediately. It was this sweet stench and we had this really sickly smell for ages – [I just felt] disbelief really.’
The couple was told it would cost them up to £10,000 to hire a company to clear the hive, so decided to tackle the issue themselves.
With some help from friends, they managed to remove all the honey, which wasn’t always a straightforward task.
At one point a swarm of ‘robber bees’ swooped in to try and claim the sweet stuff for themselves.
Kate said they first noticed the honey on the walls during last year’s hot summer.
‘It got to the point where we couldn’t ignore it anymore. I smelt it and tasted it and it was honey.
‘We’d spotted bees when we first moved in but they disappeared, and we’d had the house repainted.
‘I didn’t have any idea what was going on.’
They went into one of their daughter’s room, which is above theirs and pulled back the carpet.
‘These massive maggots started crawling out of the floorboards.
‘We decided we were going to pull up the floorboards and see what was going on. We found an old hive and it was almost composting, loads of moths were coming out.
‘We started pulling more and more, there just seemed to be no end, it was absolutely disgusting.
‘We pulled up this massive six-foot honeycomb.
One morning – in the middle of their clear-up – they woke for find the room was full of bees.
‘We called local beekeepers for help and one came to look – he said that they were robber bees and they had come to the nest to steal the honey.’
Robber bees is a name used to describe honey bees which invade other hives and steal their honey.
Kate said they continued to find honey in other parts of the house, including in the roof.
‘You can imagine the mess. It was horrendous,’ she said.
She added: ‘I was really worried about the scale of how much damage could have been caused. I have no idea [how long it was there] but it would have taken a very long time.
‘It took us about four weeks in total to remove all the honey but all of us were really keen to try our best not to disrupt the bees or kill any.’
Has your house ever been hit with a bizarre insect invasion? Have you found anything weird and wonderful under your floorboards?
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