8/31/11

Fighting over a bee rescue in NYC

With wild bees an abundant resource here in Southern California, there's always more than enough to go around.

Not so in New York City, apparently:

In a gale wind from [tropical storm Irene], a hollowed-out branch of an enormous tree was ripped off, exposing a hive of 30,000 to 40,000 honeybees. The hive’s discovery was a jackpot for the beekeeping community and word spread quickly on Facebook and Twitter that a feral hive was up for grabs.

Two beekeepers jumped at the chance to claim the bees, unknowingly setting off a feud between two of the city’s main beekeeping groups...

As throngs of beekeepers and the curious congregated within the thin piece of yellow caution tape roping off the area around the tree, tensions rose. And even as the wood chips were flying, the two beekeeping groups squabbled over how the rescue should be conducted and who the rightful owner of the bees was...

Mr. Fischer said he tried to halt the operation on Sunday because the high winds trailing the storm added to an already potent combination of stinging insects, heights and chain saws. But when his words were not heeded, he left the park.

“There was a lot more testosterone floating around than common sense,” he said.

Around Bee Rescue, Honey and Rancor (NY Times)

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