Honeycomb Home

[Image: Honey drips from the electrical sockets of a home in California; courtesy of KSBW].

A single-family home in California has been "invaded" by bees—so much so that honey is now leaking from the electrical outlets, coming "from a giant beehive behind the walls."

When the owner reached into one of the house's vents to investigate this growing apian problem, he pulled out "honeycomb after honeycomb after honeycomb," according to news channel KSBW.

[Image: A close-up of the honeycombs now tormenting a family in California; courtesy of KSBW].

The vents are droning; honey is flooding the interior of the house; and the owners are exactly one month past the cancellation of their builders' warranty, meaning that the problem is not only quite expensive, it is entirely up to them to solve.

The same owner is now justifiably worried that the house will become infested with honey-hungry ants.

It is infestation after infestation after infestation, we might say—though I suppose ants are a better fate than being infested with bears.

Ages ago, though, we saw that foreclosed homes have become an alternative ecological niche for mountain lions, and even now that unused—and undrained—suburban swimming pools are breeding grounds for West Nile-infected mosquitoes; the possibility that still-inhabited architecture could become the target of these and other strange infestations puts a uniquely worrying spin on the subject.

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Anonymous no sympathy said...

What a helpless bunch of whiners those people are and clueless as well. It's really sad to see just how incapable of taking care of themselves so many people are. They could pretty easily have someone come and take the bees and honey and then maybe try to use their brains to figure out how to do the simple repair job of fixing the duct. Or they could just leave it as it is, since it's been good enough to go 10 years without being a problem. Ants and bees may be a little annoying, but life, good life, is perfectly possible without fearing or annihilating every other living thing around us.

November 08, 2010 1:46 AM  
Anonymous metalpig said...

Awesome! I think I can live a house full of honey.... :)

November 08, 2010 3:40 AM  
Blogger aaron said...

See also these terrific invented paperback covers, particularly Ecologies of Decay and Wildlife Incursions into Modern Architecture

November 08, 2010 10:10 AM  
Anonymous Graham J. said...

I'd be hard-pressed to pick whether ants or bees are worse. My first thought is bees (particularly if hornets or wasps get into the mix), but then you read something like this, and you realize life isn't even worth living with ants.

November 08, 2010 10:47 AM  
Blogger Homegrown Evolution said...

See the website of the Backwards Beekeepers, of which I'm a part, for how a group of hobbyist beekeepers in Los Angeles are turning this "problem" into a solution. It turns out that the feral bees you find taking up residence in houses (and hot tubs and many other strange places) are more robust than commercially bred bees.

November 08, 2010 1:03 PM  
Anonymous alia said...

If the bees have infested the entire house, it has to have been going on longer than just a month. Why won't the homeowner's warranty cover it since the problem that allowed the bees to nest (badly installed ductwork) existed from the time the house was constructed?

IANAL but it sounds like a lawsuit that would not be hard to win if they took the builders to court.

November 08, 2010 1:33 PM  
Anonymous nick said...

"The Apiaryville Horror"

"The Amityville Honey"

November 09, 2010 12:10 AM  
Anonymous MRBROWNTHUMB said...

That is cool and creepy at the same time. I found a beehive in the attic this summer that had been abandoned. I guess that explains the swarm from a few years ago.

November 10, 2010 12:31 PM  
Blogger John Oliver said...

make some toast and figure out how to tap into the nectar of the gods.

November 10, 2010 1:53 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Same thing's happening at my (rented, thank god) house in Louisiana. It's strange that an inhabitated and air-conditioned space could become the ecological niche for a creature of nature, but then again, bees themselves take strict control over the environment of their hive, going so far as to keep it a constant temperature. Bees might prefer inhabited houses for this very reason.

Now the ultimate goal: design a house with a bee-hive in the wall where you can tap its honey. Oh, it would be wonderful.

November 10, 2010 2:30 PM  
Anonymous rob said...

At the corner of the block which I spent the majority of my childhood on, there was a house which sat in a bit of a depression because it was considerably lower than the houses on the other side of the street, and whoever had laid the roads out had decided to mound up to the road from the lower side, rather than cut down to the road on the higher side, which left the roofline of the house roughly at the elevation of the adjacent roadway.

We lived on that block for about twelve years; the funny thing about that house was that it was up for sale almost every year during that time. Families moved in; families moved out.

After a good portion of that time -- maybe around the time I was ten or so -- the family that moved in happened to have kids who were the same age as my sister and myself. So we played with them in the neighborhood, our parents eventually met, we were invited over to their house. The family had been in the house for months at this point.

Unlike most of the houses in that neighborhood, this house had a basement. Which -- as when learned on that first trip to their house -- was carpeted, wall to wall, with mushrooms.

Because of the house's position at the bottom of that depression (and, I guess, the poor quality of the basement construction), its basement was natural mushroom habitat. So natural that each successive homeowner would move in, watch the mushrooms grow, try to eliminate them, watch as they inevitably returned again and again, decide to move out, rip out the mushrooms to show the house and sell it as fast as they could. People might buy it, but the mushrooms owned that house.

At least, that's how I remember it.

November 11, 2010 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had a nest in the wall just above my top floor window. The header dripped honey onto the sill for weeks. Couple of ounces per day. Tasted great even through the plaster!

November 12, 2010 4:26 PM  
Anonymous Guy said...

@rob

That sounds like some kind of Lovecraftian nightmare. Straight out of "The Shunned House."

November 13, 2010 9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone looked into what makes the home so appealing to these bees? Aren't we facing a worldwide bee extinction? If these are the "good" bees we should really pay more attention.

November 16, 2010 8:48 PM  

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