The fire that devastated Notre Dame earlier this week destroyed about two-thirds of its roof, yet somehow it seems the 180,000 bees living on a portion of that roof survived. Beester come early! Glory bee! Bees has risen! Bees IS risen! Sorry I’m not sorry for the bee puns! For the love of Beesus, please don’t fire me!
According to CNN, Notre Dame is home to three bee hives, each of which contains about 60,000 bees. Thought their beekeeper, Nicolas Geant, said he feared the hives might be lost after Monday’s fire, all three made it through the inferno unscathed:
“I got a call from Andre Finot, the spokesman for Notre Dame, who said there were bees flying in and out of the hives which means they are still alive!” Geant said. “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. Now I know there’s activity it’s a huge relief!”
Apparently, the hives weren’t located on the roof proper, but on a separate roof sitting below the three famed stained glass rose windows. That roof wasn’t touched by the fire, and even though the hives might have been subject to smoke, Geant says it wouldn’t affect the bees. “Bees don’t have lungs like us,” he said. “And secondly, for centuries to work with the bees we have used bee smokers.”
It’s unclear whether every single one of the bees survived, but Geant believes if the hives made it through, so did the lil’ buzzers. Considering bees’ horrifying depletion from our ecosystem of late, it’s a small relief that even this tiny population is still with us. Perhaps some of the billionaires and luxury companies funneling money into Notre Dame’s rebuilding can allocate some resources to ensure these bees continue to thrive.