Giant Bee Swarm Overtakes Foreclosure

A shit-ton of bees have infested this foreclosed home in Florida, creating a hive the size of a small child on the exterior, and chasing and harassing the neighbor’s daughter. See, that’s them in this picture. According to the article, bees and raccoons are infesting foreclosures across Florida. Nobody can find the owners or banks that are supposed to own and take care care of them.

Bees move into foreclosed home in Port St. Lucie [TCPalm]


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  1. RodAox says:

    At least someone is living in them

  2. B says:

    It’s better than the 30,000 Burmese pythons which have also invaded Florida.

  3. MexiFinn says:

    Maybe they are making some honey to sweeten up the deal on a new home…

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @MexiFinn: No. More than likely these are Carpenter Bees, which seem to be pretty prevalent in Florida. They burrow into wood and make hives. We had some in an old plank in a fence in my old house.

  4. bonzombiekitty says:

    I like my house like I like my coffee – COVERED IN BEES!

  5. Plates says:

    Ah, Florida, you are always filled with crazy stories.

  6. ElizabethD says:

    Some beekeeper is counting him/herself lucky and racing over to pick up that swarm right now, I bet.

    • amandakerik says:

      @ElizabethD: With the bees dying off, I honestly hope so, but damn he’s going to have to create a LOT of smoke… that’s a pretty big hive!

  7. exploded says:

    The reason there are no owners or banks is because it’s an elaborate bee hive the beekeeper next door built.

    He should really learn to keep his daughter away from the hive, though.

  8. mac-phisto says:

    here’s an interesting revenue opportunity for towns facing budget crises. seize the house under blight laws & sell it. don’t have blight laws? maybe it’s time to look into enacting them.

    • Mrs. w/1 child says:

      EXACTLY! Every time I read one of these articles about abandoned foreclosed property, I think the same thing. Seize the house/property and auction it off to the first owner occupant buyer. Do not allow “investor purchases” (or do allow them and have a constant revolving income stream from selling the same house 10 times.) – It is all profit for the municipality (and if a person lives in it, better taken care of). Maybe the cost of housing will “correct” and working families will be able to afford one again.

  9. SpaceBat_GitEmSteveDave says:

    Hey wait, are these the same bees that were infesting that RV from a few months back? I think these are bee’s for hire!

  10. Canino says:

    Honey bees don’t just attach hives randomly to the outside of structures where they would be exposed to the elements and wandering bears. More likely this is a swarm just resting before they continue on to find a permanent home.

    • sburnap42 says:

      @Canino: Years ago, we had a hive that set up residence in a false wall next to our carport. Every so often, they’d swarm around the small hole around the entrance just like in that picture.

      They never “chased” us though. They were there for about three years, less than six feet from our car, and the only time either my wife or I got stung was when one got caught in my hair.

      Getting rid of them was expensive.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @Canino: Who said they were honey bees? Florida also has carpenter bees, which WOULD make a hive in the walls of the house.

    • sir_pantsalot says:

      @Canino: When they swarm they will.

  11. Matthew Gay says:

    Whenever we have stories about foreclosures, there is always a line about the difficulty involved in finding the actual owners. Does this mean that there are going to be serious issues with titles in the next few years? Are we going to start hearing about people buying foreclosures suddenly having to give them back when it is discovered that they accidentally bought the property from someone who wasn’t the owner? The title insurance people are going to have a fun time….

    • Ragman says:

      @Matthew Gay: I wonder if it’s so hard figuring out who owns it, if no one will come and claim it. Sounds like it could open it up to squatting.

      • KristinaBeana says:

        @Ragman: Have a friend going through this in Florida right now – they have been trying to purchase a property since January, and no one knows who the owner is because of floreclosure.

  12. LegoMan322 says:

    It does not surprise me…Florida needs to fall into the sea.

  13. ekthesy says:

    I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.

  14. Barney_The Plug_ Frank says:

    Beeware of buying a foreclosed home in Florida.

  15. thegirls says:

    I thought that we had a problem with bees mysteriously dying off. Since they’re so important to our ecosystem, the fact that they find a nice, safe place to live, it’s a win-win for everyone. Right?

  16. SpaceBat_GitEmSteveDave says:

    But seriously, if you are that worried, just go down to the local hardware store, buy some poison, wait until nightfall, and spray the crap out of the place. Probably cost you maybe $30, and your daughter will be safe.

    • rockasocky says:

      @SpaceBat_GitEmSteveDave: After watching Bee Movie, I wouldn’t have the heart to spray them with poison. Isn’t there some way to, you know, gently shoo them away?

      • SpaceBat_GitEmSteveDave says:

        @rockasocky: Watch “The Savage Bees” or “The Swarm

      • floraposte says:

        @rockasocky: I managed relatively non-violent wasp abatement. I squirted the nest with water (just from a plant sprayer–it was a small nest) from a safe position, and when the wasps cleared out, cursing, to wait for it to dry, I’d knock bits of it off (it wasn’t easily reachable anyway). After a few times, they decided the neighborhood sucked and moved on.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @F-15SBD_GitEmSteveDave: People who are afraid of bees with no reason need to be poisoned too. The only reason the damn bee is interested in you in the first place because the minute it goes anywhere near them, they start flailing about and screaming. Oh and running. I’m sure the bee was “chasing” you… SURE.

      • SpaceBat_GitEmSteveDave says:

        @Oranges w/ Cheese: I admit since I lived on a farm, seeing things fly near me has lessened my over-reaction. I can spot/feel a tick on me w/o freaking out. As for fliers, we have those damn Carpenter Bees and Cicada Killer wasps, both of which are NASTY, so I tend to try to duck them instead of flail at them.

        • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

          @F-15SBD_GitEmSteveDave: Heh. I just have never been afraid of Bees. I laugh at the stupid girls who scream and run whenever htey see some flying thing. You know what, its flying at you because you’re screaming stupid girl!

          Anyway, I’ve always not really minded bees. I rescued one out of a drinking fountain drain wiht my bare hands once. It was really cool. I let its wings dry out and then it flew away with no trouble at all.

          Everyone around me was FREAKING THE FUCK OUT because I was holding a bee. If I had been freaking out, it probably woudlv’e stung me.

          • Kaellorian says:

            @Oranges w/ Cheese: Thankfully you’re not allergic and swell up like the Michelin Man when stung. I enjoy pretty flowers as much as the next heterosexual man, but I’d be lying if I didn’t occasionally fantasize about flame throwers and beehives becoming intimately acquainted.

          • MarvinMar says:

            @Oranges w/ Cheese: Well, on 8/20/06 My dad and Brother went up to work on the roof. My brother hit the roof 1 time with a hammer and they were swarmed. My brother was KILLED by the bees. So you can be tough if you want to, but it does not take much to set them off so a fear of them can save your life.
            You have no idea what it is like to find someone you love, dead and covered head to toes in bees.

          • the_wiggle says:

            @Oranges w/ Cheese: calm helps for sure.

            particularly when quietly evac-ing myself/them from the bee’s area.

            *too many immediate family members allergic to bee venom to chance remaining.

          • myCatCracksMeUp says:

            About 10 years or so ago a coach on my son’s soccer league was walking across the soccer field when a bee stung him. He was dead in less than an hour from the allergic reaction.

            My brother-in-law almost died when he was stung by a bee.

            My daugher had a severe allergic reaction and may have died if we hadn’t gotten her help when she was stung by a bee.

            I kill all bees, wasps, and hornets that I see on my property and I’ll continue doing so.

      • henneko says:

        @Oranges w/ Cheese: It’s more than just being chased around. There’s going to be dead bees EVERYWHERE, meaning that walking outside barefoot is just asking to be stung.

        Also, according to the USDA Florida’s getting the Africanized “Killer” Bees now, so it may not be a matter of “leave them alone and they’ll leave you alone”.

  17. barb95 says:

    Wow, that house is TORE UP. No wonder it foreclosed.

  18. Your friends can call you HoJu! says:


  19. burgershot=burgerbuddy says:

    Burn it down. Problem solved.

  20. cynu414 says:

    When I moved into my new home in Southern California it took us two months and three visits from Terminix to remove the bees. They found a crack in the outside wall and set up shop. Even after having the place tented we still had problems with the bees.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Looks like they’re swarming. (Hanging out while scout bees look for a good spot to build a new hive.) European honey bees are very docile when they swarm. They’re full of honey from the old hive & don’t have a home to defend–only the queen.

    (Of course, if they’re Africanized, all bets are off.)

    If I lived in St. Lucie I’d be bottling up some sugar water & racing on over there. Free bees!!!

  22. moore850 says:

    Maybe an entomologist can move in there and make them a career project.

  23. Jeangenie says:

    These are probably Africanized bees — they were in the last story about the house with bees in its walls in Florida.

    • SpaceBat_GitEmSteveDave says:

      @Jeangenie: I doubt it. In the story, the gentleman said they chased his daughter and her friend. If they were Africanized, they would have been in the hospital, as IIRC, they will chase for something like 100 yards.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @Jeangenie: They are probably carpenter bees. They, as their name suggests, burrow into wood. They’d be happy in a wall :D

  24. johnfrombrooklyn says:

    For once, I’m going to ask a serious question. Don’t these communities with foreclosures have enforceable laws that require the owners to keep them up. It seems these houses go into foreclosure and then they just decay for a year at which point they’re garbage. If a community requires upkeep and the owner (individual, bank, speculator) ignores the upkeep, then the community should be able to fine the bejesus out of the owner or take possession. An ignored house that’s 3 months old is still salvageable. After a year, it’s pretty worthless.

    • F-15SBD_GitEmSteveDave says:

      @johnfrombrooklyn: So you want to fine the already failing banks, who will then get a bailout of your money. Seems the only winner would be local government then.

  25. acasto says:

    GOB: BEES?!

  26. Jesse says:

    If the bees are swarming, they are relatively harmless. However, if the bees decide to setup a hive there, then that’s where problems can arise.

    On another note, maybe Nicholas Cage would be interested in purchasing this house:

    + Watch video

  27. Saboth says:

    Anyone figured out what is preventing some people from replying to posts? I use firefox or IE, and when I click a reply “loop arrow”, it merely takes me to the top of the page…only on Consumerist. Any other website works fine.

    • SpaceBat_GitEmSteveDave says:

      @Saboth: Check the URL for the page. If there is a “#” or anything else after the last word, delete that extra stuff, then hit enter. That has cleared up any problems I have had.

  28. savdavid says:

    I used to live down there. If the city wasn’t so concerned about chasing out the blacks, Hispanics, other unwantables, etc.. thinking they will lure in high tax-paying white folks maybe someone would be living there and taking care of it. Instead of helping the poor they ignore the fact that people just aren’t moving to Florida now.

  29. ajresch says:

    @bonzombiekitty: I like my coffee like I like my women. A latte.

  30. yorch says:

    That precisely happened to me a couple of weeks ago. Now the foreclosures are everywhere here in South Florida, We went to a foreclosured home, and when I noticed most of the windows of the second floors had TONS of dead bees at the windows, as I approach the balcony, I see outside under the roof a massive beehive and it seemed like it was inside the wall. I had a friend of mine that told me that is a bitch to remove those beehives if they go inside the walls.

  31. extracrispy says:

    In Phoenix, home foreclosures are leading to mosquito problems… because no one is taking care of the pools. And the mosquitoes are spreading West Nile.

  32. AstraBabble says:

    I’m glad I live in Washington where our foreclosed homes just mold and return to the earth after a short time. The only problem is keeping the meth heads out of them until they can decay far enough.

  33. unobservant says:

    Now, is that shit-ton metric or imperial?

  34. tc4b says:

    Weren’t bees’ numbers declining in CA recently? Can we get some of these freeloaders out to the poor almond farmers?

  35. Wormfather is Wormfather says:


    The problem is probably that the bees are africanized. Florida has a BIG problem with africans. The bees, not the people, maybe the people too, who am I to speak, but definitly the bees, although i’m sure they’d rather a bunch of african people moved into the neighborhood. Me, I’ve got an irrational fear of bees and of africans, this is like my worst nightmare.

    /stream of conciousness

  36. julieannie says:

    That’s weird. My parents are fixing up a foreclosed house and my mom says there are hundreds of bees living in the trees there. It’s so loud that you can hear a hum when you are inside with the windows open.

  37. Traveshamockery says:

    Abandoned houses whose owners can’t be found should be posted in the local newspaper. If no one makes legal claim to the house within 30-60 days, the house should be bulldozed, and the land seized by the city.

    That would reduce the inventory of unsold homes, and will help housing values in the area by removing blight.

  38. justsomereportingguy says:

    I wonder if Florida has the same ‘squatters rights’ law as OK?
    If the bees maintain the property & pay taxes for 7 years they own it by default.

  39. trujunglist says:

    I doubt the bees are “killer” bees. Killer bees will fuck you up for like a mile before leaving you alone. We learned all about it as kids in Arizona.
    I was doing a project near the Arizona/California border and a swarm of killer bees attacked a guy on a wheelchair about half a mile from my location, killing him. Helicopters were everywhere and I didn’t know what was going on. Suddenly, I was being attacked by several bees as well. A car drove up fast and screeched to a halt, then yelled at me to get out of the area because the dude died.

  40. FrankenPC says:

    Mother nature SURE reclaims her real estate fast!

  41. Anonymous says:

    I love how people think that is a “shit ton” of bees. That’s pretty typical for a swarm. When a hive gets too crowded, half the bees take the current queen and off they go in search of new digs. They land like that when they are looking for the new place to live. They cluster around the queen and keep her safe and warm. Scouts go out and bring back news of what they have found. At some point they make a consenus and off they go to their new home and move in. They can hang out in a cluster for minutes, hours or sometimes more than a day while they are searching. If they are regular European honey bees, they are at their most docile when they are swarming. You can walk right up and put your hand on them. But if they are indeed the Africanized ones, watch out. They are nasty, aggressive boogers spoiling for a fight. All you gotta do is be too close and they can send out a bunch to kick your ass. They don’t give up for up to a mile. Nasty.
    I hate to read about people that call the exterminators rather than a Beekeeper to remove bees that have moved in. Never kill them if you don’t have to. Especially these days with them mysteriously dying off by the tens of millions. Yes, they are expensive to move, but worth it to our ecosystem in the long run.
    And yes, I’m a Beekeeper, so I’m biased…..I have learned lots of respect for bees. They are cool little creatures.

  42. gttim says:

    I hope they change the drapes!

  43. JGKojak says:

    Yep- Blight ’em.

    Put a notice on the door- 60-90 days later, if it hasn’t been acted upon, declare them blighted and sell. Fun for everyone.

  44. emis says:

    Isn’t there some sort of a bee crisis these days where their numbers are dwindling? I say let the bees live.

    Unless some dogs move in… and the dogs shoot the bees out of their mouths when they bark.

  45. admiral_stabbin says:

    Thank the lord they weren’t locusts! I’ve always thought that if all that Christianity stuff were true…that the locusts would start in Florida…

    Now, has anyone tried to capture these bees and force them to make honey? Mmm, honey…

  46. stevgex says:

    I’m disappointed that they appear to be regular sized bees. I was hoping to see actual giant bees.

  47. Anonymous says:

    We bought a foreclosure with a bee problem too. We had a bee guy come out and re-locate the colony (yay for humane options), which he estimated was around 20,000..but had been as high as 40,000.

    The bees had found a hole in the exterior, and set up the colony between two studs in the wall.

  48. TexasScout says:

    I had three swarms in my house at one time. This one would be easy to kill with one 5 gal bucket of soapy water. Just wait till after dark.

  49. howie_in_az says:

    If nobody can find the rightful owners of the house, what’s stopping someone from simply claiming it as their own and renting it out?

  50. u1itn0w2day says:

    I heard stories that during the peak of the boom in Florida there were many a sale voided because property flipped so fast that the paper work didn’t catch up . Sometimes in less than a month after a sale it would be sold one or two more time leaving the last buyer SOL .

    I don’t buy all this crap with the it’s too complicated to follow the trail . I heard that’s how alot of people are getting an extension during a rocket docket – asking to see the actual paper work or proof of ownership .

  51. erictipler says:

    Well, I guess this solves the mystery of what’s happening to all the bees; screw the hives, we can own this house!

  52. TheGuinnessTooth says:

    Finally, an excuse to use a Molotov Cocktail in a residential setting.

  53. EdenBabararacucudada says:

    It’s the empty houses I don’t understand. What we have are:
    1) Lots of people who couldn’t afford to pay for houses
    2) Lots of houses with absolutely no one living in them

    what ever happened to supply and demand?

  54. Rebecca Brown says:

    Whoever said they were carpenter bees is mistaken. Carpenter bees live alone – you can get a bunch of them at once, but they don’t live in hives like that.

  55. JollyJumjuck says:

    We need a few dozen of those giant Japanese hornets to take care of this.

  56. rockergal says:

    how the heck is it impossible to find out who owns what???

    I say if nobody claims it, tear it down and plant some trees. (I bet if they did that to just a few properties the owners would make themselves known real quick)