SAN MARINO, Calif. The situation at the Stathatos house on Virginia Road is getting sticky. So many bees live in the walls of the stately Tudor home that honey drips out of the walls, discoloring the wallpaper in the dining room.
The bees had been good tenants, peacefully coexisting for years with the home's human residents, Helen and Jerry Stathatos.
But lately the house has become a hive of activity, with bees buzzing around an upstairs bedroom, said Dustin Mackey, a bee removal expert with Bee Specialist.
Mackey made a house call in late February to vacuum the busy insects from a window frame and seal the floor in the bedroom.
"You walk into the house and it smells sweet," Mackey said. "I felt like I was in a jar of honey."
Mackey said Jerry Stathatos said the bee problem had been going on for at least 20 years, but living in an apiary never bothered the family.
Calls Wednesday to Helen and Jerry Stathatos were not returned.
Mackey said Stathatos decided against removing the bees because it might require them to pull down several interior walls, where "thousands, maybe millions" of bees have taken up residence.
"They are making honey and we can't even get to it," Helen Stathatos told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune newspaper.
Just outside the front door, near a hole the bees use to enter the house, Mackey saw thousands of bees "just hanging in clumps."
"They've got the most beautiful garden you've ever seen, with flowers all around the house. It's the perfect environment for bees," said Mackey.