Tornado in Virginia, cracks open tree filled with 70,000 bees: “It was a catastrophic situation’

The tree was full of bees. A lot of bees,” Karla Connelly, an administrative assistant in facilities, it said.

(University of Richmond)

Faculty of the University of Richmond are credited for the rescue of almost 70,000 bees after a tornado on Monday, took a tree in the vicinity of the school campus.

University facilities that were called for the removal of the tree, found an unusual surprise on arrival: thousands of bees were swarming the area. The tree, that had “rotted in the middle,” was “full of bees. A lot of bees,” Karla Connelly, an administrative assistant in facilities, said this week in a press release.


There was an estimate of 70,000 bees on the site, but according to the university.

(University of Richmond)

That is when Kirstin Berben, a campus of the beekeeper and laboratory manager in the university, department of biology, was called to the scene. Berben said in the release, the situation was a “catastrophic situation for the bee colony.” She estimated 70,000 bees living in the tree based on the amount of the honeycomb structure.

Then, Berben and David Rodriquez, an electrician at the university, along with Karen Williams, a landscape manager, “and got to work.”

The trio then started picking up the comb and the transfer of clusters of bees in a large tank,” Berben said, adding there was a large cluster of comb that probably included the queen.

It was a “catastrophic situation for the bee colony within,” Berben said.

(University of Richmond)

“So we focused on that,” she added.


Berben then took the bees to her home, where she has beehives. They are listed in the release, they took the bees out of the campus to prevent the colony from an attempt to return to the original location.

The bees saved on Monday, may be again moved to the hives Berben manages the campus, ” she said. Berben noted, however, they would likely remain in her home until the spring.

The bees rescued Monday, may eventually be relocated again to the hives Berben manages on campus.

(University of Richmond)

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

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