HOUSTON—A Houston pest control company came to a Valentine’s Day rescue for a woman already struggling with too many other undeserved problems.
Peggy Barfield, 63, is battling breast cancer for the second time. She had open heart surgery last year. She also suffers from lupus.
Barfield lives in a small 100-year-old home in Houston’s Fifth Ward. It was her grandmother’s home and it’s showing its age. Recently, it developed another potentially dangerous problem—bees filling a north facing wall.
"They say there’s thousands of bees back there," Barfield said pointing to her back hallway.
Barfield had been told by some companies that the bee removal would cost about $900. She lives on Social Security payments substantially less than that.
About a dozen times, a year Claude Griffin with Gotcha Pest Control offers his services free of charge. When he heard about Peggy, he jumped at the chance.
"They’re to the point where if she was to fall down or if her little walker, if it was to poke a hole in there, she would be one dead woman," Griffin said of the paper thin walls in the home.
He found a bee hive floor to ceiling and several layers deep. He removed the honeycomb and saved as many bees as he could, transporting them to rural areas west of the city, or to a friend who is an active bee keeper.
But Griffin admits this assignment wasn’t as much about saving bees as it was about saving an ailing woman.
"It is beyond belief," said Barfield. "Appreciation is not even a big enough word for me to offer out. He has a big personality and a big heart to match."
More than she knew actually, because Claude wanted to do one more thing. This was Valentine’s Day after all and he thought Peggy deserved flowers and box of candy, too. Peggy began to cry when she saw them.
"It’s all good. This is your day" Griffin reassured her.
A good day for a kind gesture, a good cry, and maybe a few less bees.