University of Richmond employees rescue 70K bees after tornado downs tree

University of Richmond employees rescue 70K bees after tornado downs tree

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - University of Richmond faculty and staff came to the rescue of about 70,000 bees after a tree came down during Monday’s tornado outbreak in Central Virginia.

The tree fell across Towana Road near campus, which University Facilities came to clear. When crews arrived, they found was more than just a fallen tree.

“What they found was a tree that had rotted in the middle and was full of bees. Lots of bees,” Karla Connelly, administrative assistant in Facilities, said.

After getting the needed equipment, faculty and staff geared up to collect the bees.

“The tree was cracked open, and it was a catastrophic situation for the bee colony inside, which I estimate was about 70,000 bees based on the amount of honeycomb,” Kirstin Berben, laboratories manager in the biology department, said.

Berben transported the bees back to the hive she manages at her house nearby.

The hope is for the bees to join the existing colony at campus once Berben ensures they are healthy.

Copyright 2018 WWBT. All rights reserved.