Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Wildlife officials in Virginia removed a "very rare" Italian honey bee colony without a hive from the grounds of a church.
Virginia Wildlife Management and Control said a man doing work outside the Victory Tabernacle Church of God discovered the colony swarming around their honeycombs, which were not inside a hive.
The agency said it is "very rare" to find a bee colony in such a state.
"I've never seen anything like it and I've been in this business 39 years," Richard Perry, of Virginia Wildlife Management & Control, told the Charlotte Observer. "To be completely honest, I have no answer for what caused it, since we've never encountered it before."
The colony was relocated to a hive box, where officials said it will be monitored over the winter and eventually released back onto the church property.