Bees rescued from Hurricane Irene winds

Sept. 1, 2011 at 3:00 AM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- A hive of 30,000 to 40,000 honeybees was rescued from a New York park when tropical storm Irene damaged the tree containing the hive.

The bees, which were left unprotected when a hollowed-out branch was ripped from a Fort Greene Park tree, attracted members of two beekeeping groups, New York City Beekeeping and the New York City Beekeepers Association, to rescue the hive Monday, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

James Fischer, a member of New York City Beekeeping, said he left the scene of the rescue when Andrew Cote, president of the New York City Beekeepers Association, refused to heed his advice to postpone the rescue due to strong winds.

"It was as though I brought the North and South back to the Mason-Dixon line again," Liz Dory, a member of Cote's group, said of the dispute between the groups during the rescue.

Cote, who enlisted the help of a police van with a crane, a chain saw, and the police department's bee handler, said he took control of the situation "when no one else could manage the job."

The bees are now in the care of Dory, who is keeping them in wooden frames on her roof. She said her group reached a compromise with New York City Beekeeping to give half of the bees to a member of the group if the insects survive the winter.

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