'Honey church' removes 20 gallons of sticky stuff

PLYMOUTH — There’s no locusts, but John the Baptist would still have found a bona fide buffet in the ceiling and walls of Plymouth Church of the Brethren these last few weeks.
The church congregation was surprised to discover honey dripping down the walls of their sanctuary last October. The sweet stuff was apparently a parting gift from bees that had been exterminated from the building in July. Last week, J & B West Construction and Remodeling — the same company that had replaced the church’s roof in October — spent several days taking apart sections of the roof and removing what turned out to be about 20 gallons of honey.
“(The honey) will have to be thrown away, because of the chemicals used to kill the bees earlier,” explained Ruth Yoder, pastor of Plymouth Church of the Brethren.
She added that the construction crew was shocked by the amount of honey in the roof, and spent several days cleaning the honey out and sealing cracks where bees had gotten in. Buckets of hot water had to be hauled up to the roof, and some boards even had to be replaced since they were so coated with honey.
Last Sunday’s service was carried out in the church’s fellowship hall, as workers still had scaffolding set up in the sanctuary where they are cleaning up the mess. Yoder said that the congregation will continue to meet in the fellowship hall this week while the sanctuary is being put back in order.
“We need to get everything cleaned up and back where it was,” said Yoder. “Once the sanctuary is finished we will be able to use the new projection system that we’ve been putting off (installing).”
Throughout the whole ordeal, Yoder said that she has been very grateful for the through work of J & B West.
“We are very pleased with their work,” said Yoder. “We are just grateful that we got the work done and that there was no more damage.”
It should be business as usual for the church after next week. There is a little honey that dripped inside the wall, but Yoder said that without taking apart the walls, it is impossible to get to. She doesn’t anticipate that the small amount of residue will cause any problem.