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Bee Relocator Posts What He Found After Removing The Outside Wall From A Client’s Home, And His Photos Go Viral (Interview)
A week and a half ago, David said that he removed the largest hive that he’s ever come across: all the combs put together came in at a whopping 30 feet!
Bee Relocator Posts What He Found After Removing The Outside Wall From A Client’s Home, And His Photos Go Viral (Interview)
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If you find that some sneaky bees have been busily building hives inside the walls of your home and don’t know what to do, The Bartlett Bee Whisperer is here to help! David L. Glover runs the insect-friendly bee rescue, removal, and relocation service in the Midsouth US—in West Tennessee, East Arkansas, and North Mississippi. He removes beehives from homes and businesses around 200 times each year; each colony has around 40k bees in it.

David’s rescued bees are given a chance to make the world a bit better and a bit sweeter after being moved. He gives them to nonprofit organizations who then use them in their programs or David uses the bees to repopulate empty hive boxes. That’s a huge boost to local beekeepers who recently suffered colony losses. A week and a half ago, David said that he removed the largest hive that he’s ever come across: all the combs put together came in at a whopping 30 feet!

Scroll down to read Bored Panda's in-depth interview with David, to learn more about The Bee Whisperer, and to check out the incredible photos from his day-to-day life at work. We wrote about The Bartlett Bee Whisperer last year and it caused quite a buzz. You can check out our earlier article right here.

David told Bored Panda that business has been buzzing as of late: “We've been able to relocate almost 300 colonies over the last year. We have started working with 3 nonprofits that utilize honey bees in their programs. All 3 are people-oriented. One works to stop human trafficking. The second works with At-Risk Kids and farm animals that have been abused or neglected. The animals and kids are rehabilitated together. Rescued bees fit their program as well as providing honey to sell increasing opportunities for the kids. The third provides 100% of their honey profits to a care facility that cares for individuals whose family caregiver has passed. They use the honey money to purchase equipment that the clients' insurance won't provide.”

The Bee Whisperer added that the coronavirus pandemic has increased his business. “With adults at home and in their yards, they have noticed the honey bees in their yards and in the sides of their homes. We are 2 and a half months booked to remove bees from homes.”

David also revealed how he got into the world of bees. Back in 2009, he became unemployed after the company where he had worked for 16 years sold his department. “One day, my daughter came home from a craft fair with honey she and Granny had purchased. She wanted to know more about how bees made honey, so I took her to an older friend who was a beekeeper.”

He continued. “While visiting with the beekeeper to get answers, half of her hive swarmed into a pine tree. I helped her capture the swarm and put them into a new hive box. I was hooked and wanted to get my own bees. Remember, I was unemployed. Starting an expensive hobby ‘playing with bees’' was not in my budget.”

He then went to the garage and made his first hive boxes, called up another friend who owned a pest control business, and asked them to be put on a shortlist for swarm pick-ups. “He called the next week with a swarm. When I arrived to pick up the swarm, I realized the bees had actually moved into a garage wall. I have worked construction in the past and convinced the homeowner to let me open his garage wall to remove the bees, promising to repair any damages. After I had removed the bees and repaired the wall, the homeowner asked me how much he owed me.”

David said that he felt befuddled at that moment. “I had negotiated my time and services for his bees. I never dreamed I would be paid. He gave me $200 in cash. About 3 weeks later, I received a large package of beekeeping equipment from this homeowner and his wife, with a note to stop looking for a job, that I already had one. The package was addressed to The Bartlett Bee Whisperer. Another friend turned me on to Facebook and I started posting my bee adventures. It became my marketing arm.”

The Bartlett Bee Whisperer told us that he has always been fascinated with honey bees. He grew up farming in rural Tennessee, so he knew the value of bees on farms. And while David wanted his very own hive of bees when he was younger, his mother did not.

“So I settled for pigs and chickens. I love that people around the world are interested in ‘saving the honey bees.’ They, our environment, and our world need our help. It amazes me that people, regardless of (race, religion, political views, gender, or gender attraction), can sit at the same table to discuss the problems we are having with our honey bees. All the other stuff goes out the window and we talk ‘bees.’”

He continued: “The honey bee, beyond being an invaluable pollinator, is also an equalizer that unites us. Who's god is God? Bees don't care. Who do you love? Bees don't care. Who did you vote for? Bees don't care. At a Bee forum with people of all colors, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Pagans, Straight, LGBTQ+, Democrats, Republicans, doctors, lawyers, musicians, and farmers, we don't care either. We are focused on the survival of the honey bee and the human race.”

David previously told Bored Panda that the first thing he does while on the job is to identify if he is, in fact, dealing with honey bees. “You’d be surprised how many people don’t know the difference between bees and wasps or yellow jackets,” he pointed out.

“I then locate the hive using forward-looking infrared. Step by step, the area of the home is opened, and all combs removed. Brood combs are rubber-banded into hive frames and honey goes into a bucket (as long as the bees have never been sprayed),” The Bartlett Bee Whisperer walked us through his job.

He joked that the odds are that the bees have never been sprayed if the homeowner is willing to eat a piece of honeycomb with him.“

“The bees who do not follow the combs into the new hive box are vacuumed into a two-stage vacuum. They are added back to the new hive once they are set up in their new yard,” David explained what happens to all the other bees scattered around the property.

“No one is aware of the size of their honey beehive,” The Bee Whisperer told us that people are shocked by how big the hives are. “They are all surprised because they are expecting something the size of a wasp nest or hornet’s nest. The infrared gives them the first clue, but that’s only the brood combs of the hive. The babies are incubated at 94.5 degrees Fahrenheit [34.7 degrees Celsius]. Any honeycombs in the hive are cooler and usually don’t show on the IR.”

David has been rescuing and relocating bees for over 10 years now. He began documenting his job in social media posts after he was wowed by one beehive and wanted to share his experience: he had to remove an entire section of a wall brick by brick to get to the comb.

Comments (30)
Dorothy Parker
This was a pleasure from start to finish. We've had hives removed by humane relocators. Every bee matters now. Sorry you were stung three times.
Steve Barnett
I had an apiary living in the (brick) cavity wall of my house, I was so gutted when they left. I've noticed that a tree (photo attached) that belongs to my neighbour always attracts a lot of bees, so I know that bees must have a hive somewhere in the vicinity. I love bees. https://static.boredpanda.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/IMG_3910-5ee34be79cfc2.jpg
Julie moreau quilliou
STEM teacher is there for it, and me too : what an amazing thing to see!
lara
Years ago we had a queen and potential hive swarm a big mesquite tree out front. I called the humane society and they gave me the name of a beekeeper who came out and "captured" the hive and took them to his place. It was fascinating to see how carefully he moved them. I did not want them hurt and they weren't. I am so happy to see that these two hives were saved and moved. Thank you so much. I do not use any pesticides on my property except for the fly spray I use on the rescue horse, and I only use ammonia on the fire ant mounds. I encourage spiders, lizards, birds, possums, snakes and other sundry wonderful wildlife. We even have at least one owl, who will not shut the ell up, a small "pack" of coyotes and a bobcat. And yes, we do live in city limits, but we have a little over 11 acres on a dead end street and the other people [three families] encourage the wildlife, too.
Marlowe Fitzpatrik
This was really interesting! I know several beekeepers, but they only have 'boring' (not really) hives in square boxes. I, too, wonder if it wouldn't have been possible to keep them if they'd not been a problem for 50+ years?
Oskar vanZandt
Fascinating creatures, bees. My father and his best mate were apiarists in the 1980'-90s. I am allergic to bee-stings but did help process honey to sell...
pusheen buttercup
SO MUCH WORK. Good job man. You deserve a promotion.
nanashi
bee's colonizing in the house is not a common thing where I'm from so I'm wondering; is there a need to relocating them? can't we just let them be there if they don't sting anybody?
No, I'm Rebekah
Thank you, one of the coolest stories on BP
Grumble O'Pug
Awesome!!!!
Gillbella
So interesting!
Viv Hart
I've never seen a house with hollow walls made of wood, accept that it's an old house, are more modern houses in the US built of bricks like in Europe, UK, & other countries? Great for bees though.
Amy Pontious
Way cool you learn something new everyday!!
katboxjanitor
What a fascinating venture! The extent of this hive is impressive and learning a little about the work of bee relocating is among the best of stories in a long while!
Cat Nip Gal
Wow, that is a lot of bees!
Claire Barton
Brilliant post. Thank you
szatan667
great job, bees are the best
Coffey Murphy
Fascinating !!
Karen Loveless
LOL my husband said if we owned that house, we would have an expert open it up on the inside and put glass up so we could watch the bees work their magic!!
Rubee Tubesteak
This is fascinating!! I thought it would just be a story about wiping out a huge hive...what a relief!
Scagsy
That's awesome. It reminds me... do London Wasps have a 'B' team?
Yugan Talovich
Nice, but let's hear a word for communication. Presumptuous means brazen, going too far. He meant presumably. And yes, I'm an English teacher.
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