Downtown Roanoke abuzz with bee removal


ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) A colony of honeybees set up their hive on the side of the 301 Parkway building, in downtown Roanoke.

This is the second time that honeybees have made their home on the side of the downtown building. Two years ago, they made a hive in the same spot. Beekeeper Jerry Borger explained that when the honeycomb is removed, part of the wax may be left behind. That wax gives off a scent that can draw more bees to it.

This latest beehive is larger than average, according to Borger, and is likely home to about 30,000 bees.

“The window just below the hive is an apartment, and that tenant found a couple bees in the apartment,” said Glenn Gilmer, district manager for Richmond Loft Company. “[The tenant] noticed the hive, contacted us to tell us about it.”

James Downing lives in an apartment building nearby and came to check out the scene.

“I’m just excited to see how they’re going to do it. Does he peel it like a spatula?” asked Downing.

No spatula, but there is a vacuum involved.

“Take my vacuum, vacuum the bees off of a comb, cut the comb off, lay it down on a little wooden platter,” said Borger. “The bees will still be on the other side, put it on my table, cut it into the shape of a frame, use rubber bands to hold it in that frame, put it in a box,” said Borger.

The removal was initially delayed because the original lift was not tall enough to reach the bees, and a new lift had to be brought in.

Once the new lift arrived, the process took about two hours to complete. The bees will find a new home with the beekeeper.

“I sell bees, so I raise them to help other folks,” said Borger.

But there will be a little less abuzz downtown now that they’re gone.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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