BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — First Baptist Church of Mobile has been a house of worship since 1835. It has also been the home to a beehive for the last 20 years, or maybe even longer.
First Baptist Church of Mobile contacted B’S Bee, a local company to relocate the beehive colony from their building. The owner, Brandon Hargraves says one of the first steps of removing a honey bee colony is to protect the original structure of the building.
“To do these removals we have to also think about the repair work down the road,” said Hargraves. “How do we seal this up properly, and how do we get it looking back to the same fashion as we found it.”
While keeping the historic church intact, the beekeepers also protect the honeybees.
There was probably an inch-thick of shingle-type material, we used the saw to cut open a square,” said Hargraves. “I don’t know how big they extend, so I cut open a window, and then I kind of found the center of the hive.”
It took Hargraves and his team two days to not only rescued the colony but to also recover several pounds of honey.
“We exposed the whole colony, so we know the parameters. At that point, we can corale them and start to remove the outside honey which was about 100 pounds of honey.”
The beekeepers also left the church a souvenir.
“We crushed it. Strained it… gave it back to the church and distribute it. I think we’re calling it holy honey,” said Hargraves. “It’s something for them from us to say thank you for helping us save this colony.”
The bees now have a new home, at the B’s Bee’s holding yard. The team will make sure they are cared for, and healthy.
“The goal is to get them through January and into February, and graduate them out to one of the honey-producing yards,” said Hargraves. “That begins the other leg of the business… which is producing honey, harvesting the honey, the wax we utilize to make skincare products and to sell to beekeepers.”
The beekeepers also rehabilitate the bees to further educate those in the community all about bees.