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Thousands of honeybees rescued from colony in Avondale garage

The Cincinnati Zoo and the owner of Morgan's Canoe helped rescue more than 50,000 honeybees thought to have been livi...

Posted: Apr 25, 2018 1:11 AM
Updated: Apr 25, 2018 1:11 AM

The Cincinnati Zoo and the owner of Morgan's Canoe helped rescue more than 50,000 honeybees thought to have been living in a garage since the early 1990s.

The bees were about 2 miles from the zoo, in Avondale. Experts think the bees had been colonizing a garage wall for 25 years, entering and leaving through a small hole near a window.

That long time period might explain the colony's large number: Honeybees typically live about three to four weeks, while the queen lives three to five years.

Dirk Morgan, owner of Morgan's Canoe and Morgan's Natural Buzz Honey, used a specialized vacuum to safely suck up the bees for transport. The vacuum has a weak air flow, just enough to draw in the honeybees but not so strong they'd be harmed.

He also carefully cut out the brood -- which has all the young, eggs and larvae -- and put it into a new hive. That's so the bees won't have a reason to return to the garage.

"When these bees end up at the zoo, they'll have a home where they'll be taken care of, we can use them for education, put them in an observation hive to show kids the miracle of a bee being born," Morgan said.

Rather than reaching for bug spray, experts hope you'll call someone to have honeybees rescued if you find them on your property. Kari Bruskotter, member of the Butler County Beekeepers Association, said it's a win-win for professional beekeepers to remove a swarm: You get the hive out of your space at little to no cost, and they get "free bees."

Although rates of colony collapse disorder, which devastated the global population of honeybees at the turn of the century, are declining, Bruskotter said, their numbers still haven't recovered. Exterminating bees in your space further reduces the population -- which, in turn, drives up the price of bees when keepers like Bruskotter try to purchase them.

Finding them a new home, on the other hand, helps everyone.

"You get them out of your house and you get the satisfaction of knowing you're contributing to keeping our bees healthy," Bruskotter said. "Pollinators are required for a lot of the fruits and vegetables we eat; your plate gets very boring if we don't have natural pollinators around."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 295295

Reported Deaths: 6724
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19690230
Hinds18812389
Harrison16722280
Rankin12725265
Jackson12603228
Lee9691160
Madison9466203
Jones7978147
Forrest7217138
Lauderdale6836226
Lowndes6031140
Lamar588480
Lafayette5736113
Washington5218130
Bolivar4612123
Oktibbeha441493
Panola430894
Pearl River4174130
Warren4130115
Pontotoc409771
Marshall403392
Monroe3990126
Union395674
Neshoba3817169
Lincoln3544103
Hancock347975
Leflore3376118
Sunflower318986
Tate302974
Pike300796
Scott293970
Alcorn291862
Itawamba290075
Yazoo289963
Tippah278965
Coahoma278668
Copiah278158
Simpson275879
Prentiss269858
Wayne254241
Marion252778
Leake252671
Covington248980
Grenada247578
Adams234678
George231845
Newton229952
Winston221777
Jasper213445
Tishomingo212365
Attala206569
Chickasaw201152
Holmes182370
Clay179251
Stone172429
Tallahatchie170939
Clarke169371
Calhoun157928
Smith152832
Yalobusha144836
Greene127733
Walthall124240
Noxubee122831
Montgomery122639
Perry121734
Lawrence120421
Carroll118425
Amite111734
Webster110631
Jefferson Davis101931
Tunica99023
Claiborne98429
Benton93524
Humphreys92827
Kemper90223
Quitman77214
Franklin76119
Choctaw69617
Jefferson62727
Wilkinson62426
Sharkey48917
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 494421

Reported Deaths: 9991
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson711451374
Mobile36184735
Madison32457458
Tuscaloosa24213412
Montgomery22636517
Shelby22020214
Baldwin19790284
Lee14980154
Morgan13693251
Calhoun13307287
Etowah13192320
Marshall11269209
Houston10102261
Elmore9408185
Limestone9376134
Cullman8903181
St. Clair8839224
Lauderdale8601212
DeKalb8465175
Talladega7552164
Walker6538258
Jackson6503103
Autauga630391
Blount6106127
Colbert5993119
Coffee5254102
Dale4648107
Russell405233
Franklin399478
Covington3970106
Chilton3883100
Escambia378172
Tallapoosa3596143
Clarke343753
Chambers3421111
Dallas3412141
Pike293372
Lawrence283684
Marion283495
Winston247368
Bibb245460
Geneva240270
Marengo236557
Pickens224555
Barbour212451
Hale210668
Fayette200957
Butler197566
Henry182641
Cherokee177139
Monroe166339
Randolph163840
Washington156635
Crenshaw145254
Clay145054
Macon142343
Cleburne137841
Lamar133133
Lowndes131251
Wilcox122525
Bullock117136
Conecuh106724
Perry105827
Sumter98632
Coosa89224
Greene88232
Choctaw55123
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