Local News

What's the buzz? Bees at WRAL

Posted August 14, 2015 1:53 p.m. EDT
Updated August 20, 2015 6:16 p.m. EDT

— There’s some extra buzz surrounding the WRAL campus on Western Boulevard thanks to honey bee hives that were installed on Friday.

The installation is part of the effort of Bee Downtown, a nonprofit organization that is working to bring awareness to the drastic worldwide decline of the honey bee population while assisting in sustainability by providing hives in cities, where bees thrive due to the availability of diverse food sources.

The campus will have four hives, located on the roof of the WRAL-TV building, and one empty hive for display only in the garden.

According to beekeeper Leigh Kathryn Bonner, rooftops in urban areas are great locations for honeybees because they don’t have to deal with as many pesticides and they make use of what is usually wasted space in a stable environment.

Bonner said that there are about 35,000 bees now living on the WRAL campus, all of which came from Farmville in Pitt County.

Honey bees are the only insects that produce food for humans. They are responsible for pollinating about 80 percent of all fruit, vegetable and seed crops in the United States. The WRAL honey bee population will help build the bee population and pollinate the expanding WRAL Azalea Garden for years to come.

Honey bees normally sting only to protect the hive, so the rooftop location of the hives makes it highly unlikely that anybody will be stung.