Roofing contractors are used to dealing with critters like squirrels now and then, but Elite Roofing in Arkansas made a startling discovery in the roof of the St. John's Episcopal Church in Fort Smith.

A beehive, measuring nearly six feet long, in the attic of the church.

After a storm in May 2021 damaged the roof of the church, crew members with Elite Roofing found the hive while inspecting the roof with drones last summer. The drone's thermal cameras caught the two-foot by six-foot spot where the hive was located.

"There’s a bunch of us that have been doing roofing for a long time and that’s the first time we’ve run across honeybees in a roof," Tyler Reams, Elite Roofing project manager, told CBS-affiliated KFSM-TV. "They usually like areas that are a little bit tighter, but the way the church’s roof is set up, it was perfect for them I guess."

The church was adamant about not destroying the bees in order to remove the hive. Elite Roofing contacted a beekeeper, who told them they needed to wait for optimal weather in order to move the bees. That day arrived on Wednesday and the beekeepers removed the hive from the roof. The beehive itself did not need to be preserved since no bees remained, says KFSM-TV.

St. John's Episcopal Church was originally built in the 1800s and served as the city's first hospital. View the video below for more details and images.