There were 60,000 bees found in a cabin in Utah, creating a beehive so large that it stretched a dozen feet long.
The bees had actually been living in the cabin for the past 17 years and didn’t bother the homeowners much. In fact, the cabin’s owners rarely used it during that time.
But that changed recently when the owners were having work done on another home and needed to stay in the cabin for a while. They decided the hive was too dangerous for their children but didn’t want the valuable species killed, so they called in beekeeper Vic Bachman to the A-frame cabin.
Once Bachman uncovered the scope of the hive, he said it was the biggest one he’d ever seen in his years of beekeeping.
“We figure we got six kilograms of bees out of there,” said Bachman, who said that meant about 60,000 bees living in the cabin.
Bachman used a vacuum to suck out the honeybees, careful not to kill the species that is important to plant pollination. In all the task cost the owners $600, or $100 for each hour of work.
“The bees were expensive,” said Paul Bertagnolli, the cabin owner.
They were careful to collect and relocate the queen bee, and the Bertagnollis also got to save some of the honeycomb to make candles from it.
Bachman said it wasn’t too difficult of a job. Honeybees are a more passive species, unlike the aggressive wasps or yellowjackets.
“They just want to collect nectar and come back to the hive,” he said. “Most people never get stung by honeybees – it’s a yellow jacket.”
The 60,000 bees found in the cabin were nothing compared to another incident from earlier this year in Tampa, Florida. About 100,000 of the so-called “killer bees” attacked a few workers in the city’s Picnick Island Park. The workers were removing a pile of garbage when they tripped over an old tier, sending the Africanized bees into an attack frenzy.
Unlike the family with 60,000 bees in their cabin, the workers didn’t get out of the situation unscathed. They suffered hundreds of stings each before finally escaping.