Air Bee and Bee
We’ve all heard of “snowbirds," a term for northerners that fly to Florida or other warm locations for the winter… well this is a case of “snow bees.”
Sandra and Nicholas Sarro’s home in East Islip on Long Island, New York is the over-wintering location of choice for 100,000—120,000 honeybees.
The walls of their home are buzzing with honeybee life, between their chimney and the interior wall of their guest bedroom.
The gracious hosts will not do anything to disrupt their winter house guests until spring, saying they will not spray or kill them because they are important.
CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan takes us on location in this short video:
The honeybee is the world’s most important and vital pollinator, so the couple has decided that to respect the ecosystem they will allow the 8-foot tall massive hive to remain where it is until spring, probably April. If they were to remove the bees now, they would perish.
Anthony Planakis is a beekeeper that makes house calls. He may be a retired NYPD detective, but he also has 40 years of experience handling bees and honey. This is the largest hive he has ever seen inside a home.
Planakis tracks the colony within the walls with thermal imaging. When it warms up, he will partly remove the roof and save the hive by transferring the bees away from the house.
The honeybee colony was discovered swarming, but Nicholas and Sandra are not afraid to sleep at night because they know honeybees are docile. They don’t sting humans unless provoked, because they usually die as soon as they sting a person.
Honeybees are mainly dormant and quiet, not even buzzing much, during cold-weather months.
There is a side benefit to this cohabitation experiment. Honey is everywhere, from the ceiling to within a foot of the floor. Nicholas and Sandra are learning to collect and extract the sweet honey and plan to donate bottles of it.
Sandra says she will miss the honeybees when they leave.
How would you handle having so many bees overwinter in your home? Let us know over on our Facebook page.