Benji’s Bees

In 1898, this house was built in McKinney, Texas.

In 1974, the movie, Benji, was released.  This house was one of the homes used in the movie.  You can see the exterior of the house at 3 min 58 seconds into the movie.  This home is now affectionately known as “The Benji House” in McKinney.Benji

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Then, in the early 1990’s the home was purchased – with the intention of renovating it back to it’s original glory.  The only thing the homeowners have to give them a guide is an old photograph.  There were no plans or blueprints (that are available any more).

The next photo is how it looks today – from a similar angle.  DSCN2304 (2)

The contractor that is performing the renovations encountered a hive of honeybees in the 3rd story roof line of the South Western corner of the home.

Here is what is seen from the outside:

DSCN2305 (2)And the bees are entering and exiting through a baseball-sized hole in the roof shakes – just above and to the left of the window shown.

It was unknown whether the bees had occupied the space in the 3rd floor wall – Benji_BeeHoleor if they were in the joist space between floors – or in the wall joist below the hole.

Initial exploration was to the 3rd floor interior wall.  We eliminated that the comb was in the joist space by means of a laser thermometer. (and I was able to stick my hand into the joist space from the 3rd floor access)

Once it was determined that the bees were definitely in the joist space to the outside edge of the 2nd floor window – the removal began.  Because of the age of the building materials – the contractor provided an employee on-site during the removal to assist and actually open the house up for me – and then he will replace all the removed boards.  This was his first time to work with bees – and he was a trooper!  I provided an extra bee veil and jacket for him to use throughout the removal.

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And the first board is removed.  We could see the bottom edge of comb.  The next boards were removed.

DSCN2290 (2)(view looking up from the opened first board).

Three boards removed now…

DSCN2292 (2)And working our way up to the top.

DSCN2296 (2)DSCN2294 (2)Finally – all the comb with honey, brood, and eggs was removed – and the worker bees and queen were vacuumed into a collection box – to be reunited with their brood comb at the bee yard.

With the wall cleared of comb, insulation was placed to fill the space so that it cannot be occupied in the future.  And the contractor will put all the wood back into place.

DSCN2297 (2)DSCN2298 (2)DSCN2300 (2)DSCN2299 (2)Withe the bees removed – my truck is loaded up, and ready to head to the bee yard.

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