Wall Bees Could “Bee” a Solution to the Housing Crisis

(And the bee crisis)

Honey bees hanging out on a hive
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buzz buzz

The average cost of a 30-year fixed mortgage is currently at 6.04 percent. The United States is short 1.5 million homes. The cost of housing for both buyers and renters has risen to an untenable level. This Nebraska family heard buzzing in the walls of their house and then found out that there were 6,000 bees living in there.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Thomas and Marylu Gouttierre spoke with the Omaha World-Herald about their dilemma, which began when they planted bee-friendly flowers outside. The flowers attracted the bees, who then flew into a crack in the Gouttierre home’s mortar and set up shop. It’s as they say, even for bees: location, location, location (close to the flowers).

The family only noticed they had a remarkable number of new bee tenants when they, according to the World-Herald, “saw a large collection of bees flying outside their kitchen window and the one in the bedroom above.” In a room on the second floor, the couple opened the door to find about 30 bees. Then they closed the door.

Then they had to figure out what to do with the bees. “Our first thought was should we call an exterminator,” Gouttierre said. “But we’ve been reading and there are a lot of great shows on PBS ‘Nature’ about how important bees are to pollinating the world in which we live.” I love that. Instead of an exterminator, they called the Omaha Bee Club, who showed up to vacuum out the bees and take them to safety elsewhere. They sucked out around 6,000 in all.

“Lo and behold, there were three perfectly shaped combs maybe about two inches thick and maybe about nine inches in diameter,” Gouttierre said.

While it seems to have been an overall positive experience for the Gouttierres, to me it sounds absolutely terrifying and I hate it. So here is my thought — rather than force the country into a recession to combat rising housing costs, why not just do this, with the wall bees?

Obviously all the dots aren’t particularly connected vis-à-vis how the bees will help the housing crisis (something for the Fed to figure out). But my thought is, we put them in the walls of the houses bad people own and like … once those people leave their houses, we vacuum out the bees and give the house to someone good.

Or maybe we put the bees in houses and force the most bee-scared in government to build affordable housing because we’ll say we can’t use these houses because of all the bees in there, and they’ll say “oh I totally understand I’m terrified of bees.” Then we just vacuum them out and have all those houses, plus the new ones. I don’t know. Using the houses as a temporary breeding ground for bees could also be helpful, in terms of the bee crisis.

Anyway, it’s up to the government now.