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Downtown Buzz: Bees get new high-rise home atop Rome hotel

May 11, 2019

ROME, Ga. (AP) — Rome beekeepers Andi Beyer and Monica Sheppard may have found an ideal location to help the proliferation of pollinators in downtown Rome. Beyer and Sheppard, working with Hawthorn Suites Hotel owner Ira Levy, established three new hives on the roof of the hotel recently.

Levy said he was talking with Beyer and Sheppard during one of the Downtown Coffee Break programs and thought the hotel roof might be great place to put the hives. After the meeting, Levy spoke with his wife Libby about the positives that could come from the project.

“It helps populate the bees and it helps the flowers and so we thought it would be a good idea,” Levy said. “Before long we’ll have our hotel honey.”

Levy ultimately plans to market the honey the bees produce in his gift shop. Beyer said that one full super hive will produce about two and a half gallons and Levy is ready to get the honey on his shelves.

“Well, maybe next year,” Beyer said.

“There they go, these girls don’t know how well these bees can do it,” Levy said.

Beyer tried to explain the process to Levy and said, “These bees have got some work to do before they start producing honey, but this time of year bees are very motivated.”

Each of the three hives that were put on top of the hotel Wednesday had a slightly different paint job. Beyer and Sheppard explained to Levy that one of the first things bees do when they come out of a new hive is to buzz around it to develop a sense of familiarity with their new home.

“There is a whole movement now of doing urban beekeeping,” Sheppard said. “We’re excited to have the opportunity to try this out in Rome.” She said if the project works as well as she and Beyer think it can, it could be replicated on other buildings downtown.

“We need all the pollinators and there are lots of ways we can help that population grow and this is one of them,” Sheppard said.

Beyer believes the roof top would be nice because the hives won’t be impacted by hive beetles.

“The other thing here is its proximity to the river. If you look all along the riverbanks there is stuff blooming everywhere,” Beyer said.

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Information from: Rome News-Tribune, http://www.romenews-tribune.com

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