Un-'bee'-lievable sight: 30,000 bees safely removed from downtown Roanoke building

By Lindsey Kennett - Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - On Monday, passersby in downtown Roanoke witnessed an unbelievable sight.

About 30,000 honey bees and their hive were removed from the outside of the Parkway 301 building along 1st Street.

Someone who lives in the apartment building noticed bees in his unit about two months ago, and then looked out the window and spotted the hive.

The property manager said it took a while to find a qualified beekeeper to safely remove the swarm.

This past winter, the United States saw the most honeybee colonies lost in more than a decade, so the beekeeper used a special vacuum to safely remove the bees before cutting off and saving the honeycombs.

About 98% of the bees will survive the rescue.

The beekeeper will move the bees to a colony and monitor them so they'll make it through the winter.

"Bees enhance the food production, the crop size for about one-third of the food that we eat -- the vegetables, the plants. So, very important for that," said Jerry Borger, the beekeeper

Another beehive had to be removed from the same spot back in 2017.

The property manager is going to use special paint to prevent bees from getting attracted to the building again and forming another hive in the future.

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