Huge beehive over 80 years old removed from walls of Lordstown house

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LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – On Tuesday, bee removal specialists spent a few hours working to remove a large hive from the walls of a home built in the 1880s.

If you’ve ever had honey bees in your walls, you know it’s a big job to take them out.

“We don’t know what we’re getting into when we get into the walls,” said Bob Chmelik, also known as “Bob the Bee Man.”

Bob and his team — which includes his grandson, Travis Watson — used a special vacuum to remove the bees.

They pulled out a lot of honeycomb from the walls, taking out a hive that spanned from above the house’s porch roof up to the attic floor.

“The lady next door said that, you know, it’s been there her whole life and she’s 82. So it’s been up there quite a while,” Travis said. “They just keep building on every single year, so it gets to be pretty large.”

The hive itself reveals its age.

“Old comb is really black and this is a fresh colony, would have real white honeycomb,” Bob said. “We’ve run into almost none, just a little teeny bit at the top.”

He said it’s likely that new colonies of bees have been coming back to the old hive.

“There should have been a lot more bees here than there was and that tells me that this old hive has attracted new bees in there.”

Travis has been by his grandpa’s side for over a decade.

“The hardest part with [bee hives in walls] is always getting to the comb, so you know you had that really thick wood up there. It was difficult to cut through in there and kind of a cramped location,” Travis said.

From the vacuum, the bees will now be taken to their new home.


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