Bee populations are under threat around the world, but one house in Spain apparently provided the perfect conditions for a huge hive.
A couple in the historic southern city of Granada, in Andalusia, had been troubled by a strange buzzing noise in their house for some time – and when things got so bad they couldn’t sleep at night, they decided to take action.
Beekeeper Sergio Guerrero told CNN the couple had first noticed bees at their property around a year ago, but no one from the police, firefighters or the local council had been able to help.
When temperatures started to rise, the noise got worse – and beehive relocation expert Guerrero, from local apitherapy company La Colmena Sanadora, was called in.
“From about three months ago there was an unbearable noise and they didn’t know what to do,” said Guerrero. “Just imagine!”
What he found at the house on May 12 was a shock even for an experienced beekeeper: a hive home to around 80,000 bees behind a bedroom wall.
Guerrero said he was surprised the human inhabitants had been able to share a house with such noisy neighbors, especially as the hive was so big that it must have been there for a couple of years.
He said the noise wouldn’t have been constant, but would have fluctuated depending on what the bees were doing that day.
On some days the bees would be buzzing as they came and went, but at other times they would be working quietly in their hive, said Guerrero, providing a moment of peace for the humans next door.
He said the hive would have grown so big because of the large number of flowers in the local area, as well as higher temperatures in recent years, which have lengthened the insects’ reproductive period.
Guerrero said he has received more calls to rescue hives so far this year than ever before, and he believes Andalusia’s bee population is in good health.
“There is more awareness of the importance of bees,” he said.