Decatur woman finds 100,000 bees living in her ceiling -- and it isn’t the first time

DECATUR, Ga. — A Decatur woman discovered a colony of more than 100,000 bees in her living room ceiling last week -- and this was not the first time!

Lisa Stovall Ohrmundt has lived at the house her roommate owns in the Briarlake area for 14 years.

Last week, a bee expert removed a hive nearly 6-feet long from between the upstairs floor joists in the living room ceiling. This is the fourth hive removed from the home in just the last few years.

Ohrmundt told Channel 2 Action News that she first noticed a lot of bees in the yard in 2017. She called in Bobby Chaisson with Georgia Bee Removal, who removed a 6-foot hive from the ceiling.

Ohrmundt said she thought that was the end of it.

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A few years later, she once again noticed an abnormal number of bees flying around the home. This time, “Bobby the Bee Guy,” as Ohrmundt affectionately calls him, removed a smaller hive from a different place in the home.

It didn’t end there.

“This spring so many bees were getting into the house. One of our dogs got stung and that’s when we called the bee guy,” Ohrmundt said. “This monster of a hive was just a little bit less bit than the last one.”

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In a scene right out of a scary movie, video shows the terrifying moment last Wednesday that Chaisson cut open the ceiling to reveal swarms of bees and a vast network of honey comb. The hive had been hiding in plain sight, just above their heads.

Ohrmundt said she is a truck driver, so she isn’t home a lot, but she never heard a peep from the colony or saw any evidence of them inside.

“They’re quiet. If I hadn’t seen them outside of the house, I never would have known they were there,” Ohrmundt said. “There’s just fastidious. They are super quiet and they are just doing their thing and protecting their queen.”

Chaisson said that a drone bee likely scouted the house years ago and determined it was a good place to set up a colony. Bees can enter homes through tiny holes or cracks between a home’s bricks or siding.

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“Bee scent is a thousand times better than a human can small. so they can smell if a colony has lived in the house before,” Chaisson said. “But really it is about the opportunity for them to be able to get into the space.”

Chaisson said bees colonizing homes is more common that you might think. He said Georgia bee removal companies probably removed 5 or 600 hives a year.

But Ohrmundt’s hive is definitely one of the biggest he has seen.

“It’s definitely up there in the top 20,” Chaisson said.

Chaisson said location is likely a factor.

“Every time I do removals in the Decatur area, they are always really big hives,” Chaisson said. “I think that area just provides the resources for them to be very healthy in that area.”

Ohrmundt said she learned that the bee problem likely started before she even moved in.

“A neighbor said, ‘Yeah the people that owned this house before you guys had a hive removed,’” Ohrmundt said. “I was like, ‘Nobody told us this.’”

Chaisson said they only way to keep bees -- or any other insects for that matter -- from building a colony in your home is to carefully shore up any cracks or holes.

Ohrmundt said she’d like to think the bees have moved out for good -- but at this point -- she can’t rule out another couple hundred thousand unwanted visitors.

“When all this started it was in the middle of everyone being worried about honeybees going extinct,” Ohrmundt said. “I was like, ‘They’re all just camped out in my ceiling.’”