A team of Florida wildlife trappers called to an elderly woman's house to remove a horde of rodents discovered thousands of honey bees swarming in the attic.
Between 20,000 and 30,000 bees had built a bustling hive in 98-year-old Sevia Moore's Cocoa Beach, Fla., house, said Leo Cross, the founder of Florida Wildlife Trappers.
"She'd had this colony of bees up there for about a year," Cross said, adding that Moore "didn't even know what was going on inside the house."
"It's pretty mind-boggling not to notice that you have a beehive of that size upstairs," he said.
Moore's granddaughter, Laura Blevins, told NBC News affiliate WESH in Orlando that her grandmother was stunned when she saw the dense throng of insects and rodents.
"Sleeping under that — oh, Lord," Blevins told the station.
Moore, for her part, told the station that the buzzing insects "didn't bother me."
"When I was outside, I didn't even see any," she said.
Cross and an associate used a vacuum to suck up the thousands of bees and set traps for scores of rats and squirrels.
"The rats and squirrels were probably up there having a good time with the honeycombs," Cross said, adding that he spotted some of the rats gnawing on the wax cells.
The bees are set to be transported to a safer location, according to Cross.
"The honey bee population is important to the environment," Cross said. "You just don't want to kill them or eradicate them."
And Cross expects to pay more visits to Moore's house in coming days, as he and his associate expect there are "a couple dozen" more rats and squirrels cavorting in the attic.
"Rats reproduce every few days, so this job is ongoing," he said. "They're such cool little creatures."
First published October 13 2013, 1:34 PM