A couple of Ottawa downtown businessmen are in a sticky situation.
Troy Funk and Mike Powell, Midwest Fidelity Services, 103 S. Main St., recently noticed honey dripping off the top of their historic building. After a quick inspection, they discovered a beehive underneath the trim near the roof. Both are unsure if the beehive can be moved successfully without harming the bees.
“It is not going to be an easy project,” Funk said. “We have not been on the roof to see where they are at. You can see them going in behind the trim up there.”
Both men said the honey dripped from a 6- to 8-foot area onto the awnings, bricks, mailboxes and sidewalk.
“You can see where the honey is coming out of that piece of trim is every bit of six feet,” Powell said. “It is a good-size hive.”
Funk noticed something funny on the side of the building late last week.
“I thought someone actually threw a [soda] at the side of the building,” he said. “I saw the stuff running down the side of the building. The mail sticking out of the mailboxes was covered. It had everybody’s mail covered in honey. It just runs. It is a little faucet.”
Funk said Powell recently talked with their mail carrier about the hive.
“The mailman suggested he knew somebody that could come and move the whole hive,” Funk said. “We went out and looked at it and tasted it to confirm our findings.”
Powell sampled the honey first and did not like the taste.
“It did not taste like honey, it was really bitter,” Powell said. “[Tuesday], I got brave again and there was some dripping off the mailbox. I grabbed a piece. It is honey. It tasted really sweet.”
Powell said the easy thing to do would be to exterminate the bees.
“Whenever we first thought about it, we wanted to figure out how to relocate them efficiently instead of having somebody come in and take care of them,” he said. “Hopefully that is what we can do. We are going to get back in touch with the carrier that knows somebody down in Richmond that can do this safely. It depends on what it might look like up there. We don’t know what that might entail yet. It looks like it is up under some trim that has been there for quite a long time.”
Funk said the biggest question is determining if someone could remove the trim and the whole hive without getting stung or hurting the building.
The men witnessed the bees swarming around the top of the building.
“There are plenty of bees up there,” Powell said. “You can see them going in and out up there.”
Both said the bees appear to mind their own business so far and are not a threat to anybody walking downtown in the 100 block of South Main Street. Powell said the only thing that might happen is somebody may get a sticky foot from walking in the honey that dripped on the sidewalk.
“You always hear about beehives or beekeepers getting honey, but we have never seen it,” Powell said. “Somebody might be able to capitalize on that ...put a spicket on that.”