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Notre Dame Bees Are Survivors

Beekeeper rejoices at activity around the hives
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2019 5:09 PM CDT
Nicolas Geant tends to bees on top of the Grand Palais museum in Paris in 2009.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

(Newser) – There was comfort to take in the horrific Notre Dame fire. No one was killed, and precious artworks survived. Now it turns out that thousands of small occupants did, as well: bees whose home is on the cathedral's roof. They've since been spotted buzzing in and out of their hives, per CNN. "Right after the fire I looked at the drone pictures and saw the hives weren't burnt, but there was no way of knowing if the bees had survived," beekeeper Nicolas Geant said. "Now I know there's activity it's a huge relief!"

Three hives, each with about 60,000 bees, have been on a roof over the sacristy, beneath the rose window, since 2013. The fire didn't reach the hives. If it had, Geant told CNN, the wooden hives would have burned and the wax would have melted, gluing the bees together. There was smoke, but that's not the threat to bees that it is to humans. "Bees don't have lungs like us," Geant said. (Read more Notre Dame Cathedral stories.)

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