WASHINGTON, D.C. – Exterminators were working late into the night this weekend in an effort to remove a honeybee infestation in the White House’s Executive Residence. The infestation has plagued the First Family for nearly a week, The Washington Post reported today.
“It’s been a total disaster,” said White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. “Two agents on the president’s security detail were hospitalized after sustaining over a hundred bee-stings. To make matters worse, the president has been forced to take his meals in the mess hall.” The White House Mess is made up of three small dining rooms located in the basement across from the Situation Room and serves as an eating area for senior White House staff.
The honeybee infestation is believed to have originated somewhere in the Family Kitchen before spreading throughout the Executive Residence. The bees were first discovered late Wednesday night after Secret Service agents were alerted to a commotion coming from president’s sleeping quarters. Upon entering, agents found the First Lady cowering underneath a bed as “thousands” of honeybees swarmed around the room.
As of Thursday morning, the Secret Service had deemed a large portion of the Executive Residence “uninhabitable.” Following a Secret Service briefing, President Obama and his family were relocated to the staff quarters while the Executive Residence was sealed off.
Over the weekend, according to Chief of Staff McDonough, exterminators were able to eliminate approximately eight million honeybees using “a variety of methods” including industrial sized bug bombs. “In the end they were literally shoveling thousands of dead bees into garbage bags and carting them through the service exit,” McDonough said.
White House maintenance staff are working together with a Washington, D.C.-area extermination company to ensure the Executive Residence is habitable for the First Family in time for Thanksgiving. “President Obama and his family, like millions of American families, are looking forward to enjoying a bee-free Thanksgiving dinner this week,” McDonough said.