-- 13 Years Of Strange Noises Solved - But What Did The Repairman Find In The House Walls?

 Meet Jerry and Sylvia Lynn. This couple has lived in their house for over 13 years. And for 13 years, they have been haunted by a strange sound coming from the house's walls.

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It would always start at the same time every evening. The house in Ross, Pennsylvania would fairly shake with the intensity as the noise escalated. Then one day, a repairman stumbled upon the most unexpected cause of it all.

Things That Go Bump In The Night

We've all experienced our fair share of creepy noises somewhere that we've lived over the years. But usually, those sounds are easily explainable. Although they may sound somewhat supernatural, most noises you hear at night are down to boring physics or maintenance needing to be done.

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Take the clunking, for example. No, it's not the ghost of Christmas past, it's just the radiators cooling as the heating goes off. Ominous squealing, like the lost souls of children? Go oil your hinges.

Footsteps Of Doom?

Don't even get me started on the floors, creaking away as if the legions of the night are on their way up to steal my blankets. When you're alone in the small hours of the morning is there any sound worse than the sneaky tread of an imagined ax murderer?

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Come on guys, it's just your floorboards flexing. The dropping temperatures at night shrink the wood. Or, maybe it's the dampness seeping into them, making them expand. They're rubbing against each other, or whatever else they're touching. Death is not waiting in the linen closet.

Ghosts And Ghouls

But hang on, I hear you say, what about the attic? I'm pretty convinced that in a house I lived in some years ago there was a convention of ghoulies and ghosties every single night up there among the rafters.

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What kind of simple, everyday explanation can we possibly come up with for such a racket?

By The Light Of Day

Well, let's face it, it can't be paranormal activity. We've all checked it out in the daylight, brave enough with our housemates holding the ladder below us.

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There's no ectoplasm. Nothing is out of place. There's not even any evidence of an escaped lunatic hiding out there, or anyone's secret mutant twin. It's almost disappointing!

Creaks And Bumps And Clangs, Oh My!

We've covered what that noise most probably is. Those old pipes warming up when we turn on the heating. The wooden beams of the roof settling as the weather cools.

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Optometry is a surprisingly flexible - and fulfilling - career path.

There's probably a ton of stuff up there, and temperature and humidity are playing with it all, moving it millimeter by millimeter before it shifts enough to bump into a new position.

Pops and Clatters And Scratches, Too!

Then there's plastic. Plastic bottles pop with changes in pressure. Pipes can fill up with condensation. Taps can work loose and drip. Depending on what they're hitting, that can sound like a whole plethora of weird and wonderful conceived catastrophes.

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Birds might nest in the chimney. The wind might lift a loose tile. If you get up there and have a look, there are a thousand and one things that it could be, all usually fixable with five minutes and some basic tools.

Party On The Roof

Maybe it's summertime, and new noises are plaguing your sleep. Stuff contracts when it gets cold, and similarly expands when it gets hot. The summer sun beating down on your peaceful abode can populate it with season-specific mutters and bangs.

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The shingles, for example. They are lying against other shingles, wood, maybe debris on the roof. The sun heats them up and the party gets started!

Who's That Knocking On My Walls?

And it's not just temperature, water, small animals, or wind causing havoc. The cold water pipes are vulnerable to air pressure building up. That can cause what sounds very much like hammering coming from the walls!

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It's not something you want to have to wake you up in the middle of the night. I know I've been practically reaching to dial 911 to report an intruder before common sense has taken over and asked me: Inside the walls??

What's Cooking?

What other noises can we think of? Oh, I know! How about the bubbling, popping kind of noise that sounds like a witch is boiling a cauldron with your name on it?

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That's not only boring but a bit icky, too. Inside the water heater, sediment collects on the bottom. The little eddies created in the water by heating nudge the sediment around and release the trapped air amongst it. "Boiling" water!

Trouble With The Air-Con

Lastly, we have the whistle. Less creepy, spooky, or downright scary, and a lot more annoying! That's probably your AC system.

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If the air is obstructed at all, it will make a whistling noise as it travels through the confined area. Just like when you whistle through your teeth! So, when the filter needs cleaning, the air whistles through, exacerbated by the unit trying to work to the same level and exerting extra pressure to do so.

Who You Gonna Call?

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OK, so we've exhausted all the usual possibilities for odd noises in houses. However, we still don't seem to have solved Jerry and Sylvia's problem. Could it be that we'll have to call in the Ghostbusters?

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One thing is for certain, the noise is so unnerving that it even upsets visitors if they happen to be there at the wrong time.

An Adorable Annoyance

Familiarity breeds contempt. It seems that although the guests are jumpy, the Lynns hardly register their weird noise anymore. After all, it has been with them for 13 years!

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When the news channel CNN got hold of the story in 2017, Jerry explained to them that it simply doesn't bother them. "It's kind of cute," he added. Like a noisy hidden house pet, maybe?

The World Moves On

It's no wonder that the Lynns have grown used to their companion sound. Thirteen years is a long time. It's almost a dog's lifespan! It's from baby to teenager.

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This noise started in 2004. Very little stays the same for that long. That noise is constant in a changing world. Don't believe us? Read on...

2004: Two Years Before Facebook Went Global

Yes, people, 2004 was officially the dark ages. The dawn of social media was only just tingeing the midnight blue of a lonely, online-friendless sky.

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Facebook was founded in 2004 but was only in use by a specific network of local users. It was 2006 when it opened up to the public. Since then, over 2 billion people worldwide have signed up for cute cat pictures and doggo memes.

2004: The Early Stages Of The War In Iraq

Whether you're for it or against it, there's no denying that the Iraqi War changed the world in the ten years that it ran. In 2004, we were just a single year into the conflict.

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For years, we would hear about attacks made on the US military, but eventually, power was won from Saddam Hussein and given to an interim government. Saddam himself stood trial for war crimes.

2004: Four Olympics Ago

2004 saw Athens host the summer Olympic Games. It was the first time Greece has hosted since the inaugural games back in 1896! Since then, we've seen the games hosted by Beijing, London, Rio De Janeiro, and next year by Tokyo.

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Nothing gets the blood pumping like the Olympics, and 4 billion people are believed to have watched the Olympic Flame complete its four-year journey to light the torch of Athens as the games started.

2004: Janet Jackson's Boobs

The Superbowl might happen every year, but it's a one-time event when one pop star inadvertently undresses another on the big stage! Yes, 2004 was the year that we saw Janet Jackson's boob when Justin Timberlake accidentally ripped off the cup of her outfit right at the end of the act.

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It was later revealed to be a "wardrobe malfunction," a phrase that is now a popular culture reference used in everyday language. Justin swears he didn't do it on purpose!

Just in case you were wondering, the New England Patriots were playing the Carolina Panthers that year.

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A Changing World

Right, you've got the picture. 13 years is a long time. Back to the Lynns and their perennial pet noise. It's been their faithful companion, through war and peace, global events, indecent exposure, language change, and the rise and world domination of social media.

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Together they have seen Donald Trump float up from the murky seabed of obscurity to the wind-tossed waves of power. In that time, gay marriage has been legalized. The world has united with an unprecedented 187 countries signing the Paris accord on climate change. But in one unchanging corner of the country, the noise lived on.

Giving It Perspective

So, do we have any details on the infamous sound? Well, Sylvia tells us that it happens every day, at the same time, but only for about a minute. Taken on a day by day level, that's not as long as a commercial break, and probably quieter and less annoying.

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Thinking about it from a cumulative point of view, we realize that the Lynns have had to listen to this noise for roughly three days worth of time. That's got to grind on the nerves a bit, right?

Driven Doolally?

You'd think that hearing the same noise, at the same time, for the same length of time, every single day, for 13 years would have put them in an asylum soon enough. But Sylvia and Jerry simply learned to live with it. After all, they heard it around 4750 times - anyone can get used to something with that much practice!

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The noise was predictable and regular. It got to be that they anticipated it. Maybe there was a frisson of hope each day in the minutes beforehand that it wouldn't happen!

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Man V DIY

So when did it all start? Well, there's a story to that as well. In September 2004, Jerry was doing every homeowner's favorite thing; connecting up home entertainment wires. The frustration inherent in such a fiddly, complicated, and generally downright confusing task usually leads us to extremes, and Jerry was no different.

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He decided that the easiest way to do this would be to start punching holes in the wall. He got out his trusty drill, but there was a problem. How would he know where to place the hole? He needed the connection to line up just right.

The Idea

And then Jerry had The Idea. Obviously, the best thing to do would be to tie an object to a piece of string and then lower it into the wall cavity. If the object could pass through the area, then it must be free of wires or pipes that would make it unsafe to drill there.

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Up Jerry went to the next level of the house. He found an upstairs air vent, readied his object, and started lowering it through the vent and down behind the walls of the floor below.

Hearing The Plan

Ah, but there are more problems to surmount. You might have spotted the flaw in the plan already. Jerry wouldn't be able to see where the object was behind the wall. He had to take the plan to another level.

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Being a resourceful man, he soon thought up a solution. He would use something that made a noise. Then he could listen for the sound and know just where the item was dangling from its string.

Get Set, Go!

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That's when Fate stepped in. Jerry, little knowing that what he was about to do would affect his life for 13 years, tied a small digital alarm clock to his string, and started lowering it into the wall cavity.

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He had set the alarm for ten minutes' time, estimating that he should be back downstairs, positioned and ready to drill by that time. He'd be waiting patiently for the alarm to go off, revealing exactly where the little clock was hanging.

A Twist Of Fate

A foolproof plan, carefully thought through and executed with skill and patience? It sounded so at first. After all, what could go wrong? The batteries were charged, so the alarm wouldn't fail to go off. The little item fit in the space and Jerry had plenty of string.

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To this day, he's not quite sure what happened. It was all going so well! One little unforeseen mishap, which seemed quite trivial when it happened, spoiled it all. One moment in time that ended up stretching across the years to come.

Escape!

I think that you've guessed what happened next. Sure enough, the little clock somehow slipped its reins. As Jerry was carefully threading the string through his fingers, dealing out more as the alarm clock sunk down out of sight, there was a jerk on the line.

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The thread bounced up a little as the weight pulling it down was suddenly not there anymore. Immediately after, there was a solid clonk as the alarm clock hit the floor. So much for Jerry's great idea.

No Problem

All was not lost, however. In fact, Jerry wasn't perturbed at all by the unexpected turn of events. The hole that he wanted to drill was near floor level and unless the clock's batteries had popped out in the fall, it would still go off.

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Jerry would still be able to hear the clock and be directed to a safe place to make his hole. The premise of the idea was still sound, and Jerry was still defending it 13 years later to CNN.

Waiting It Out

There was no way that anyone was getting that little clock back, short of opening up the wall it was sitting behind. But Jerry was still not repentant. After all, the clock ran on batteries, so the power would die before too long.

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At the very most, the clock would only be able to keep going for a few months. It would all be over before Christmas, and Jerry had succeeded in connecting the TV, so all was well.

A Time For All Seasons

But Christmas came and went, and the alarm still sounded. In fact, 13 Christmasses passed before the noise was silenced, and then it wasn't due to the batteries failing.

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Stuck behind the wall, the clock couldn't be reset for daylight savings times, either. So, for a bit of variety, for six months it would go off at ten to eight, and for the other half a year it would go off at ten to seven.

Not Really Alarming

Still, time heals all wounds, and it wasn't long before the Lynns got used to the alarm sounding each and every night. After a while, they just didn't even hear it anymore.

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That was made easier by the style of the alarm. “It starts with a soft ‘beep, beep, beep, beep,’ and it gets louder and closer together,” Sylvia told KDKA. With a gentle build-up, at least it didn't make them jump every evening.

Soon, It Will Be Over...

“We don’t even notice it because we’re so used to it,” Jerry told CNN. “It’s more of a conversation piece when guests come over.” That was all well and good for the Lynns themselves, but it still gave their guests a shock if they were around at the right time.

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But that wasn't enough of a problem to make Jerry and Sylvia want to start dismantling the house to get the clock out. After all, they kept reasoning, it has to stop soon, right??

On The News

After some years, the Lynns even found fame with their companionable alarm. Jerry and Sylvia were happy to talk to reporters when they came to visit, and they appeared on a few news programs.

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That was when Dawn Michelucci and Keith Anderson from local firm Low-Cost Heating And Air entered the picture. They had seen the article on TV and thought that they might be able to help. They decided to visit the Lynns.

To The Rescue

Dawn and Keith had access to tools that Jerry hadn't had 13 years before. They were able to use them to find the little alarm clock without going through any walls. After some effort, Dawn had the item in her sights: “I see a clock with vibrant numbers stuck on a wire."

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Once its hiding place was revealed, it was the work of but minutes to enter into the vent system via the garage and fish the noisy item out into daylight.

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A Long Battery Life

“This is the first time – no pun intended – that I had to remove a clock from inside ductwork,” Keith explained to KDKA. It was just a small alarm clock, already old when Jerry tied it to the string and sealed its fate.

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When they got the lid off the battery compartment, they found the batteries were corroded, but still healthy enough to power the clock! That's a great advert for whoever made them!

The Brand To Beat

It turns out that they were Rayovac branded. That's something I think that we'll all jot down for when we next need to replace our batteries! In fact, Jerry didn't think that he had ever replaced the batteries since buying the clock!

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It hadn't been easy for Jerry to remember what the clock even looked like when Dawn and Keith had asked him. No doubt it was as much background scenery out on the nightstand as it had been inside the walls.

Old Memories

“It is a travel alarm. I was right on that,” Jerry told KDKA. “And it is digital. I was right on that. It’s just the style I was wrong on.”

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It's funny how something that we look at every day can be so hard to recall when prompted.

Jerry The Unrepentant

Even after all those years of listening to an unnecessary alarm, getting reporters and heating companies involved, and upsetting friends, Jerry remains defiantly proud of his work.

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"It wasn’t that it wasn’t a good idea,” he told CNN. “It just didn’t have good execution.” We'll toast you on that one, Jerry! It's all come out right in the end, though, even for the little clock. The Lynns plan on giving it pride of place in their home, hopefully on a table near the center of a room...

More Strange Noises

Sometimes, you don't need Jerry to start hearing strange noises. Let's fly to Tennessee and check out a house there that was confusing its owner with the strange sounds it was emitting.

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From beeping to buzzing, any noise that you can't explain is something to worry about, and the homeowner here decided that she was going to have to call the experts in.

Hauntingly Familiar

It was in Germantown, in Tennessee, that this house is found. There are many like it there in the neighborhood, but none other that sounded quite like this one!

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It was a noise that the homeowner recognized, and it did not bode well. It was, in fact, a sound that was intricately entwined with danger. The homeowner needed to find someone special to deal with it.

Danger Ahead

There are a lot of noises that could signal a dangerous problem in old houses. Pipes about to burst, tiles falling from the roof, the ominous creaking of a stair about to give way.

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We've been through the probable causes of all those little yet annoying sounds that worm under your skin and leave you with a vague feeling of dread. But this was a different class of noise. And although it was coming from the house, the house wasn't causing it.

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Doing Her Research

The homeowner did her homework well. It seemed that there was one expert that was uniquely suited to the difficult and dangerous job that she had for him.

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She lost no time in calling him up, knowing that he could handle whatever they might find. His name was David Glover, otherwise known as "The Bartlett Bee Whisperer".

The Bee Whisperer

Yes, folks, that dangerous, menacing sound coming from within the walls of this poor woman's house was buzzing. Not live cable buzzing, but buzzing bees. Definitely not something that just anyone could come over and sort out quickly.

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The homeowner had searched until she found a self-professed bee whisperer. He had all the credentials she needed to see to convince her that he was the one she needed. In fact, he was the bee whisperer for all Tennessee and Mississippi.

Not The Exterminator

Bees are a hot topic across the globe in this ecologically aware era. It seems that the part that they play in keeping the balance in ecosystems is vital. Exterminating them just isn't on anymore.

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Our lady had made sure that she called in someone who would, uniquely in her area, actually work to relocate the misplaced insects to a place more suitable for them to carry on their important work.

The Importance Of Bees

The British Beekeepers Association tells us that around a third of our food is dependent in some way on bees acting as pollinators. Not only is pollination important in the production of food that we eat directly, it's also vital to produce food for our livestock.

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From grass to bay leaves, from coconuts to sunflower oil, everything that passes our lips relies, at some stage, on getting one flower's bits to another flower's pieces.

The Pollination Experts

And nobody does it better than a bee. There a plenty of others that have a hand in it, for instance, butterflies and other insects, and small birds such as hummingbirds. Some bigger animals help out, and the wind is always useful.

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A bee's vocation in life is nectar. No other species pollinates to the extent that bees do. But because they have a sting, they have been exterminated as a matter of course throughout history. Nowadays their very existence is under threat.

Removal Service

Our Bee Whisperer is someone that gets it. Rather than simply eradicating the problem, he is willing to work a bit harder to preserve the integrity of the hives that he is called to remove.

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He will take the hive and relocate it carefully to a new home, where its occupants can carry on doing their good work. He's been doing it for years. However, he had never in his career seen anything like what he was about to encounter.

Infrared Scanning

This was not just any old hive hiding within the brickwork of this old Tennessee house. David arrived with all the latest technology at his fingertips, ready to do a thorough sounding of the property and the size of the problem he faced.

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He quickly set up his infrared equipment to scan the side of the house in question in order to get an idea of what he was dealing with. The equipment would help him to pinpoint the hive.

A Sticky Problem

The scan turned out not to be quite up to the job. David couldn't gauge the extent of the hive from it. This was a problem, as he needed to know how big it was in order to safely remove it.

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Usually, he will remove a hive as non-invasively as possible. “I prefer to be minimally invasive when removing honey bees from buildings,” he wrote on Facebook in September 2018. “I don’t like taking out bricks.”

Unbuilding A Wall

But this time, he was going to have to do it differently. Because he couldn't tell how far the hive went, he was going to have to expose it brick by brick.

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It was a mammoth job. Every brick was taken out with extreme care in order not to negatively affect the hive underneath. It was only after David had painstakingly removed 12 lines of 6 or 7 bricks each that he realized how vast the hive was.

Millions Of Footsteps

The exposed hive measured around three feet by five feet. That's 15 square feet of honeycomb goodness. Oh, and incidentally, around 30,000 bees. Talk about some noisy neighbors!

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A hive that size must have been founded at least two years ago, says David. And how can he tell? It's rather like counting rings on a tree. “The white comb is the new comb, while the darker stuff is older,” Glover explained to Fox News in October 2018. “Thousands of tiny feet walking across it makes it darker.”

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Weeping With Regret

How on earth did 30,000 bees get inside the wall of a house, I hear you ask? Well, they must have a pretty efficient queueing system, is all I can say, because it's a very small entrance hole.

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Upon inspection, David reckoned that the bees had managed to get in through a weep hole at the base of the window above. A weep hole is a small gap between the bricks left to allow water to drain.

A Failed Extermination

The story takes a morose turn here, as the area around the hive was piled with the carcasses of dead hive members. It would seem that at some point in the past, an exterminator had been called in to solve the problem the easy way.

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Fortunately for the hive, its size prevented the extermination from taking a complete hold. The chemicals just couldn't permeate through the entire structure and some bees survived.

The Challenge Begins

Dead bees aside, the hive was obviously healthy and thriving. Now, however, it needed to thrive elsewhere. It was time for David to remove it from behind the brickwork.

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He did it in sections. Each part was carefully pulled away and stored ready for transport. It took him four hours in total before all the pieces of the hive were safely out of the wall.

A Job Well Done

David was a happy man. Although it took such a long time, it was certainly satisfying to know that the hive was safe now.

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“As much as I dreaded removing the bricks, the final view of the hive was awesome!” David wrote on Facebook. “The homeowner was more than pleased that we were able to remove and relocate the bees and their hive.”

Not So Sticky

There had been one huge help in David's long job - the hive itself had not been particularly well-secured to the bricks around it. That had made removing the bricks easier.

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It also helped to extract the honeycomb inside with more ease and less damage to the hive. Which is a good job, as it was one of the largest hives David had ever seen!

Fostering Honeybees

Now a new question arose: What to do with 30,000 honeybees and their mammoth home? It's not something you can just leave in the back of the truck until you find somewhere to put it.

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Luckily, the Bee Whisperer thinks all these things through. It was no problem for him to provide a corner of his own garden until a suitable adoptive home could be found.

Waiting For A New Home

“[It] could be a farmer who needs them for pollination,” David explained to WMC. "Or, perhaps, a honey producer who’s in need of the insects."

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One thing is for sure, these bees will find a permanent residence soon enough. Until then, they'll be very happy pollinating the plants all around David's neighborhood.

The Honeybees' Hero

The world needs more people like David Glover, the Bartlett Bee Whisperer. It could have so easily been another homeowner that just called out the exterminator instead of going that extra mile.

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It seems hard to believe that, with 30,000 of them in one single honeycomb, these beautiful furry insects could be under threat of extinction. We need these bees more than they need us, but it's still a very good job that guys like David are around.

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