Bee Downtown Founder Leigh-Kathryn Bonner continues to make headlines with her mission to save the dying bee population. Inc.com recently featured the 25-year-old beekeeper, who is also responsible for the hives donning the roofs of American Tobacco and Capitol Broadcasting’s headquarters.
Bonner’s lead beekeeper in the Triangle, Ben Dictus, gave CBC a recent update on the hives at the company in Raleigh and Durham.
Four hives are located on the roof of the WRAL-TV studios on Western Blvd in Raleigh. The bees live in the lap of luxury with the WRAL Azalea gardens as their playground. One hive had to replaced after the stress of the winter.
“It survived, but was weak. It was able to swarm, but then didn’t requeen,” explained Dictus. “It ended up with a laying worker (this is bad!) so I replaced it a week ago. It is doing great now!”
Dictus reports that the other three hives all swarmed, which means they are healthy, thriving and have now requeened.
“They are just making honey and living the good life now!” he said of the CBC hives.
Dictus has installed a scale in one of these four hives, so Bee Downtown can monitor the hive’s weight gain and loss, keeping track of how the hive is doing more specifically.
Several hives, named for different American Tobacco tenants including American Tobacco itself, are located on the roof of the ATC campus in downtown Durham.
“The Burts Bees hive is, as we say in the bee business, going gangbusters!” reported Dictus. “It has a lot of honey!!!”
Dictus is working with one of the hives to make sure it requeens, but the rest of the hives are doing well and making honey.
“These hives all swarmed as well,” he said. “They actually even kicked off afterswarms – which is more evidence that conditions are good for them up there. I split most of these hives to prevent swarming, but they did it anyway!”
Dictus is also planning to install a scale on one of the ATC hives as well.
Stay tuned to Capcom for more reports on the CBC hives throughout the summer, their busy season.