Homeowners Heard Strange Noises Coming From Their House's Walls: Story From Germantown, Tennessee
Some houses are victims of neighborhood gossip. That was exactly what happened to one home in Germantown, Tennessee. When the homeowners started hearing sounds, they almost believed it. They realized it would be impossible to live there, not knowing where the sounds came from. And what they have discovered was truly amazing. Read on to find out why that house was so special and where those sounds were coming from.
It Seemed Like A Normal House...
When the family moved to Tenessee, they were surprised that the neighborhood was so friendly. They believed they had found a home there. The family thought they could live in peace, and it was their dream home. However, it was not to be. Not long after they moved in, they started hearing sounds. What could they have been?
What Might Solve The Problem?
Since the house was a bit older, the family expected that there would be some creaks. These weren't the normal creaks and cracks you hear from an older house, though. This was something completely different. Many of the homes in the neighborhood were older, and most had been renovated to make them attractive to new buyers. This family was happy with their new home, but maybe a renovation would stop the sounds?
There Was Something Strange About That Noise...
When the noise first started, they thought it was just regular noise, and it didn't phase them one bit. They figured that the sound would just go away with time. But the noise wasn't consistent. Sometimes, one family member would hear it and others wouldn't, and other times it would get louder or softer. The family started getting worried.
The Situation Was Getting Worse...
Normally, with a noise in a house, it's pretty easy to determine the source location. If you can't find where it is coming from, you might start to get worried. Even worse is when you don't know exactly what you are hearing. Not only were these homeowners facing both of those situations, but then the noise began moving around the house. The whole thing was beginning to turn into a nightmare.
The homeowners knew that they needed to do something and they needed to do it quickly. The noise became so intense that they became concerned about the structural integrity of the house itself. They took to brainstorming to come up with a solution. The family asked friends and neighbors if they had any ideas. Finally, they came up with what they thought would be a solid plan.
Could Rodents be the reason for such inconvenience?
The one thing that the family knew about the noise was that it was coming from inside the walls. They thought that the most likely culprit was a rat stuck in between the sheetrock and the outside bricks. But the noise grew louder, and they realized that it couldn't just be one animal. If it was a rodent, it wasn't just one. With the large amount of noise they heard, it would have to be a lot of rodents. That convinced them that it was time to call in some help.
Let's Call Pest Control
The help came in the form of a pest control service. It took a little while, but they were able to map out where the noises were coming from. The family finally found the location of the noise from the information on the map! The pest control came out, marked the walls and began pumping as much pesticide into them as possible. Whatever was in those walls was either going to die or run away. At least, that's what everyone was hoping...
It Seems That The Family Missed Some Facts About That House
Much to the dismay of this poor family, the noise was still there. Whatever the pest control company did, it wasn't enough. The noise was becoming even louder and it was beginning to drive them all crazy. If the pest control company couldn't help them, what else could they do? They began to lose hope, and then they came up with an even crazier idea. What if there weren't rodents trapped in the walls? What if it really was something supernatural?
Looking for New Ideas
In desperation, the family turned to Google for help. They looked up everything they could find on noises in the walls. Like diagnosing an illness with the internet, they found dozens of possibilities, each more frightening than the next. None of them really fit ALL of their problems though. They even joined a few different online forums for people with house issues. No one had the same problems that this family had. It appeared that it was unique.
It's Only An Issue At Their House
They tried to describe the sound to other forum members, but it was a fruitless endeavor. Even the family couldn't agree on exactly what the noise sounded like, so how could they possibly describe it accurately? They waited for the noise to reappear, sat down quietly, and everyone wrote down exactly what they thought they had heard. Then they turned to the forums again with their new description.
It Became Insufferable
When the noise came back, it was louder than ever. It sounded like whatever was in the walls had grown larger. They were finally all able to agree on what it sounded like. Everyone in the house thought it sounded like some kind of vibrating motor. They knew that something living was making the noise, and now it was getting worse again. Something had to be done again, and it had to be done quickly. They still had no idea what the noise was though, so what could they do?
A Weird Buzzing From the Walls
As the noise got louder and louder, someone in the family pointed out that it wasn't just a vibration. There was a buzz too. On a hunch, they went out into their yard. This time, they weren't going out just to get relief from the sound. They finally had a new idea about what the source of the sound could be, and they wanted to make sure they were right. Throwing more money at the problem wasn't the answer. They needed to have a solution in mind.
Possible Source Of The Noise Was Finally Found!
From the outside of the house, they approached one of the exterior walls. Now they could hear the buzzy vibrations from outside the house too. One member of the family saw a bee crawling around on the window. They watched as it went into the wall through a crack and disappeared. It was an ordinary bug. Was it the source of the extraordinary problem?
Who Could Really Help Them?
Bees only live in colonies, and the homeowners realized that their problem must be related to a nearby bee colony. They didn't want to kill the bees, but if they were the cause of the buzzing sound, they needed to get them out of the walls. After searching on the internet again, they found a local man who they thought would be able to help. His name was David Glover.
Bees are well on their way to becoming an endangered species. They are important to the lifecycle of the planet because they help pollinate crops and flowers. Killing them is not a good idea, and the homeowners knew that. Calling a professional beekeeper is a much more environmentally-friendly move than calling a pest control company. David Glover was one of the best beekeepers around. He could go in, remove the bees, and find a new home for them. At least that was the plan.
His Special Nickname
David Glover earned the nickname "the Bartlett Bee Whisperer" because of his affinity for bees. Working with bees can be difficult and dangerous. Anyone who has ever had a bee sting can tell you that it can be painful too. Glover handles bees for a living and also bottles honey. He has removed bees from peoples' homes since 2009. Would he be able to help these people too?
It's a Bee Infestation?
Glover talked to the homeowners, but he had to make sure that the bees were really the source of the problem. It sounded like they had a possible bee infestation. However, since the removal methods were so invasive, he had to make absolutely sure that bees were the issue. Just because they saw one bee around a window didn't mean bees were the problem. He had handled bee infestations since 2009 and knew exactly he was looking for. It was time to interview the family.
Were There Others Suffering From That Problem?
The family told Glover that they heard a loud buzzing sound and that it had been in the house for quite a while. It was more than just a small buzz though. It was a much louder sound by this point and very persistent. When he heard about the noise they were describing, he knew he could help them. He decided to go over to the house and hear it for himself.
The Full Inspection Of The House Was Inevitable
Glover went over to the house immediately. He needed to check the walls out for himself. On the first visit, he brought the one piece of equipment that he always has with him, which is his bee-keeping suit. If you've never seen one of these, they look very much like a radiation suit. Instead of a respirator in the headpiece, they have a mesh screen to help the beekeeper to breathe more freely.
Further Investigation Of The Problem
Another tool that Glover uses is a thermal imaging camera. This helps him tell if there is an infestation by locating a heat source inside the wall. In the picture below, you can see what a thermal image scan looks like. The red areas are indicative of a heat source. The heat source is usually some sort of living creature, or in this case, a lot of living creatures.
The Heat Marks the Spot
Normally when running a thermal imaging scan, a small area of red lights up. When Glover ran his scan on this house though, the ENTIRE house lit up. He thought this must have been a mistake or a camera problem, so he recalibrated it and did it again. It was the same result. There were so many "heat sources" in the wall that he couldn't find the entry point for the bees.
Houses in the southern United States are often built with a special structure in them called a weep hole. A weep hole is a small hole in between bricks used to drain humidity. They prevent water from collecting within the porous bricks and causing them to collapse due to water weight. Since the house was in southern Tennessee, it had a number of weeps. Glover saw that the heat sources all pointed to a specific one in the rear of the house.
The Problem Revealed
As he stared with disbelief into his camera, Glover could see that the homeowners were right. They definitely had a bee problem! He wanted to help, but there were two obstacles to overcome. First, there was an overwhelming amount of bees. He had never seen so many bees in one house before. It would be difficult to relocate that many bees. Second, because the house was made of brick, finding the beehive would be next to impossible.
Could He Actually Help?
Glover realized that he had to do something. Not only were the bees disturbing the homeowners, but the bees were in danger as well. It would be the biggest job that he had ever attempted. He told the homeowners that he could remove the bees, but only on one condition. He presented his plan to the homeowners.
Would The House Be Damaged In The End?
The condition was simple. Bee removal is a very invasive procedure because certain parts of the house were going to have to be ripped out. He needed the family to agree that he could tear out any part of the house necessary to get to the bees. He also let them know that this work would not be inexpensive. They agreed without hesitation. Even with the cost, it would still be cheaper than buying a new house.
David Was Not Sure If He Could Actually Handle It...
David knew that this would be one of the most difficult bee removals he had ever attempted. He was also enthusiastic about helping the homeowners and the bees too! The first thing he had to do was to find the hive. As we said earlier, that was going to be a tough job. The brick in the walls was so thick that he had no idea what to expect.
Why might it not work as planned at first?
Glover told the homeowners that he hated working with bricks. Bricks can crumble when removed, which makes them difficult to work with. They also can crack, which damages the hive. In extreme cases, dealing with brick houses and bees can come to nothing, so he needed to proceed very carefully. Lots of things can go wrong with brick houses and this house was entirely brick.
When David removed the first brick, he noticed that the space between the brick and concrete was very small. This was going to make the job harder because he would have to remove a lot more bricks than usual to get to the bees. There was a surprise when he finally found the hive though. Despite the space issues, the beehive was completely intact. All of the bees were healthy and thriving.
Here Came The News...
As soon as David removed one brick, it was evident the house was completely infested with bees. The hive was in perfect form, and it was as if the bees had a plan. He figured that they had been there for quite a while. Still, this was just the first brick that he had removed. He had no idea how big the hive actually was or how many bees he would find.
Even More Bees!
David realized that with the hive in such good condition, there were going to be a lot of bees in the walls. He knew that he couldn't just remove each brick individually. It would just take too much time. The house was completely infested and there was no way to take every brick out of the wall. The first one had already taken hours, and he wasn't sure what removing the rest would be like.
A Lot of Bees!
The situation was even more complicated because he still had no idea how many bees were in the walls. He also didn't know how long it would take to move all of the bees to a new home. Understandably, the homeowners began to get anxious. This was going to be expensive, and he couldn't offer them concrete answers to their questions. They began to wonder if they should back out.
Tearing Down The Wall
Despite their reservations, they asked David to continue with the project. He kept removing bricks. He had to be extremely careful while removing them though. If the hive was disturbed even a little bit, it could cause a dangerous swarm in the neighborhood. He also tried to keep the bricks intact to save the homeowners' money, although it would have been easier to smash them.
More Bricks on the Way
He kept going, removing more and more bricks until two whole lines were gone. He thought this would be more than enough to get all of the bees out. Under normal circumstances, it might have been enough. On this job though, the hive was just as full as it was when he first started. Things were beginning to look bad because he knew that he'd have to remove even more bricks. The bees seemed to know this too because the buzzing became louder. That was a bad sign.
A Lot of Bricks and a Huge Hive
Glover kept removing bricks until he had five lines of bricks removed. If you're keeping track, that means that he had removed half of the wall. At that point, he was able to see that there were seven very narrow honeycombs all leading to one mark. This meant that he had found the starting point for the bees' settlement. He had to keep going because there was still more to this hive.
It's Getting Bigger
As he kept removing bricks, he kept finding more and more of the hive. It seemed to be neverending! He realized that these bees had been in the walls for a long time. He was only too happy to help them get out of there. Soon, though, he began to worry. There were so many bees in the walls that he might not have enough supplies to get all of the bees out and rehomed. What was he going to do?
One of His Biggest Projects
Glover had a lot of experience with bees. He thought that he had seen it all. He never imagined that this project would turn out to be such a massive undertaking. He stayed calm, which is important when working with bees. He was very prepared and knew exactly what he needed to do. Fortunately, he brought the right equipment and supplies too.
The Protective Suit
One important piece of equipment was, of course, his trusty bee suit. The suit is designed to cover his entire body to prevent bee stings. In a way, the suit has become unnecessary. Since he has worked with bees for so long, he has built up an immunity to stings. So even if a bee somehow finds its way into his suit, he will barely feel the sting. This is also how beekeepers are able to build "bee beards". He wasn't doing that here, but with this large amount of bees, the suit was still essential.
A Friend of the Bees
He may have not been building a "bee beard", but that doesn't mean that the bees didn't like him. In this picture, you can see a large group of bees on David's shoulder. They landed there and started building a new home right on his bee suit! It didn't even phase him and he kept removing bricks. He apparently found the buzzing sound relaxing too. For a professional beekeeper like Glover, that sound isn't annoying. It means that the bees are happy and healthy.
David Loves the Bees
Most people are afraid of bees. In a way, bees get a bad wrap, though. Most people can't tell the difference between peaceful bees and their more aggressive cousins. David Glover loves bees though. Most of his posts on social media are about bees. He often posts random facts about them as well. A recent one said that 1/3 of the food supply on Earth is due to the pollination of plants by bees.
A Gigantic Beehive
After many many hours of work, David finally removed all of the bricks he needed to remove. What he found underneath was the biggest hive he had ever seen. He called it the "Holy Huge Honeycomb". David posted it on his social media and his followers were understandably excited. Not only was it a huge hive, but it looked like he was going to be able to get it out safely! There were still more obstacles to overcome though.
Some Sad News for David
David went in to finish removing the beehive. As he was removing the last few bricks he saw something that he hadn't expected. When the first pest control company had pumped pesticide in the wall, it killed some of the bees. In one corner, there were a lot of dead bees. Usually, bees are very difficult to kill with pesticides because the beeswax in the hive prevents the poison from getting to them. While most of the bees were fine, there was one dead bee, in particular, that was going to be a problem...
A Queen-less Colony
The pesticides killed the queen bee. Without the queen, a bee colony quickly falls apart. Usually, it only takes a little while for the bees to die in a queen-less colony. Fortunately, these bees were still alive and thriving. Still, Glover knew that in order to save the bees, he was going to have to find a solution quickly. He started to move the giant hive. The homeowners breathed a small sigh of relief.
A Calm Hive
When a queen bee dies, the rest of the colony usually becomes overly aggressive. This is when most bee stings are reported. This colony was special though. The bees seemed just as well-behaved as any normal beehive with a queen. David thought he could help the hive to thrive once again. He began to become optimistic again about finding them a new place to live.
The Size of the Honeycombs Shocked David
This hive was unique in another way too. They had produced two enormous honeycombs. This is different than most bees, who will produce smaller honeycombs that are all broken up. Most bees don't produce even one giant honeycomb, and this one had produced two. They were large enough that even David Glover was shocked by their size.
The Biggest One He Had Seen
Glover had been a beekeeper for a long time. This was the biggest hive and the biggest honeycomb that he had ever seen. He was shocked by its size. His social media followers were shocked by its size. The homeowners were shocked by its size. This was one big hive. But the size of this hive raised an important question: how many bees were there? How many bees would have to be relocated?
Too Many Bees to Count Them
Glover estimated that there were around 35,000 bees. This was an incredible amount of bees, even for him. He had to find all of them a new home, and the sheer amount of bees was going to make that tricky. Fortunately for David and the bees, they seemed to want to stick close to the hive. This was good because it made rounding them up much easier. He also had a special tool that helped him.
The Bees Stay Close to Their Hive
Before we talk about the special tool, we should explain how bees are usually transported. Most of the time, the bees will stick close to the hive. The vast majority will be transported on the hive itself. The ones that don't stick to the hive will probably not survive for long. They have to be forced to move somehow, and that's where the tool comes in. What is this tool? We'll give you a hint. You probably have one in your closet.
A Vacuum Cleaner As a Special Tool?
The special tool he uses is a vacuum cleaner. He vacuums up all of the stragglers and puts them into a bag. This seems like it would hurt the bees, but beekeepers like David Glover know what they are doing. They use very gentle suction and a very empty vacuum cleaner to capture them. The goal is to keep them breathing while still having the means to transport them.
Rehabilitation for the Bees
Since the bees are being transported away from their original location, they need to go through a kind of "rehab" to adjust to their new surroundings. It takes a lot of time to do this, so Glover decided to document the process on social media. The story went viral and the Holy Huge Honeycomb was seen all over the internet. It even made the local news. David Glover was starting to become a very well-known beekeeper.
What's this New Place? Home?
As David began to "rehab" the bees, word of his accomplishment grew. This was great for David and the bees because it allowed him to talk to other bee handlers about the best way to handle a colony with no queen. The first step was to get the bees to accept a new location for their home. He built a vertical enclosure for them to simulate the tight space of the wall. They seemed to like their new home and began building.
The Bees Needed a New Regent
The second step was even more important. He had to find a new queen. This is difficult because even if you have another queen just laying around, the workers might reject her. Fortunately, David happened to have such a queen in one of his other hives. He carefully transported her into the Holy Honeycomb Hive and waited. This was the key moment in the story for the bees. If they rejected the new queen, the colony wouldn't survive.
Did They Welcome Her?
He watched and waited as the bees became aware of their new queen. They hadn't had a queen since the pest control company had sprayed the house. He expected that she would cause a reaction in the hive. Some of the workers began flying around the new queen, but most of them just ignored her. David began to worry. If they didn't accept her soon, he'd lose this hive and he'd lose the queen too.
They Accepted the Queen!
After more than a few anxious moments, David noticed that the behavior of the bees had changed. They started laying eggs! This was fantastic news for everyone involved: the bees had officially accepted their new queen! He quickly took to social media to share the news with his friends and followers. The giant colony would survive.
The Beehive Started to Grow
When bees lay eggs, the larvae begin growing inside the honeycomb. The actual purpose of honey is to feed the bees but also to feed the larvae. The larvae also eat some pollen and the mixture of pollen and honey is like bee baby food. The worker bees take care of feeding the larvae, and the queen just watches. They are all her babies, but she has a lot of "nannies" to look after them.
The Colony Thrived
The hive did eventually stall, which worried David. It soon picked up again though. Even after being moved to a new location, getting a new queen, and laying eggs, the colony thrived. By watching the building activities of the bees, he was able to estimate that the bees had lived in the walls of the house for at least two years. The homeowners didn't hear them at first because there weren't enough bees. As more eggs hatched, the sound became louder and louder.
Time to Make Honey!
The final sign that the bees were fully rehabbed was when they started producing honey. This meant that the job was finally done. They produced a lot of honey too! David bottles and sells this honey in Tennessee. He also likes to show these bees off. Some people have a prized dog or cat and David Glover has his prized bees.