Household horror: Bees ATE my home

Honey, I'm home.

When Megan saw bees swarming around her home, she was in for a sweet surprise.

Here, Megan Sutherland, 45, tells the story in her own words.

The aircon must be broken, I sighed, lying in bed one Saturday morning. I’d just woken up and a strange buzzing sound filled the room. But when I turned it off, the droning noise didn’t stop.

It was coming from the window, so I went to take a look and saw masses of bees in the backyard, swarming below the windowsill.

My partner, Jon, 45, had spotted the critters, too. Carefully we headed outside to investigate. ‘There’s thousands of them!’ I said, shocked. 

The swarm outside was the first sign
The swarm outside was the first sign

The wall was covered in a blanket of bees and the air was filled with them. We called a pest control expert to come out. ‘You must have had a hive,’ he told us. ‘They could have been there for over two years,’ he told us. Two years?! I frowned.

We’d noticed the odd bee in the yard, but we’d never had a swarm before. ‘It looks like the queen bee might have moved on, so the hive became empty,’ he explained. ‘But now another swarm has found it.’

He quickly got to work, smoking the bees out with help from Jon.

I had a coffee date planned with friends, so I headed out to a cafe. As I filled my friends in on what had happened, I got a text from Jon. It was a photo of the inside of my bedroom wall.

They'd built a hive behind my walls!
They’d built a hive behind my walls!

‘Oh my God!’ I gasped. There was a huge piece of honeycomb. I’d been sleeping metres away from a huge bee hive.

When I got home, the bees had gone. But there was a new problem. As we removed more of the wall, we found the cavity packed with honeycomb more than 10cm thick. They really have been busy bees, I thought. They’d carefully built their home between the walls.

When my daughters, Hannah, 18, and Julia, 14, came home from their dad’s, they couldn’t bee-lieve it, either.

Calling the insurance company, we were disappointed to learn we weren’t covered against insect damage. So we’d be stung for the removal costs. Instead, we rolled up our sleeves and started hacking out the honeycomb ourselves. ‘It’s so heavy!’ I said, filling buckets.

The comb from the first cavity alone weighed 30 kilos. At least it was sweet smelling. As I worked, honey started to ooze out. It’s too good to waste, I decided, so I found a YouTube video about how to collect it. Soon, I had jar after jar of honey in my kitchen.

That’s when I heard a story on the radio about how eating local honey can sometimes help people with hayfever. So I shared some photos to their Facebook page. If anyone wants some honey, I’ve got some! I wrote.

Before I knew it, reporters were getting in touch and I even ended up on TV. My story might have created a buzz but my honey is the bee’s knees!

kilos of golden honeycomb
We pulled out kilos of golden honeycomb
honey sell
There was so much honey, I gave it away!

For more, pick up this week’s copy of that’s life! – on sale now.

on sale now

Related stories