O&R Crew, Local Beekeeper Partner to Relocate Hive to Farm
There’s been a lot of buzz around O&R the past few days about what a line crew responding to a “wires down” call in Palisades found a couple of weeks ago. Turns out, it’s a sweet, “bee-utiful” story.
Late Thursday afternoon, June 11, O&R Overhead Line Supervisor Dan Goswick and his crew were dispatched to the scene of a fallen tree on overhead electric wires along Lawrence Lane in Palisades.
When the crew arrived, it determined that this was no ordinary assignment.
“The tree trunk was hollowed out and we could tell there was a lot of activity inside, a lot of buzzing. So, we didn’t want to get too close.” Goswick explained.
On further inspection, Goswick found that the downed tree was the home of a large hive of wild honeybees.
As most of us are aware, honeybees are a pollinator insect critical for our food chain and are a valuable natural resource. Understanding the value of the honeybees, when presented with the option of spraying them with a pesticide, Goswick was determined to find a better way of handling the job.
Now, the question was: how to safely remove the tree from the electric wires while, if possible, maintaining the hive and the health of the bees.
After a few quick phone calls, the O&R crew discovered a honey farm just a few miles away. Within a half hour, Lomar Farms’ Yvonna and Brett Wright were on the scene.
The Wrights brought ventilated “bee suits” needed to help protect the O&R crew members so they could safely clear the tree from the wires. Once the tree was down, strategic cuts were made to open the trunk so the hive could be removed. The Wrights carefully extracted the sections of the exposed hive and prepared them, and hundreds of wild honeybees, for transport back to their farm.
Here’s a video showing the rescue.
O&R’s Section Manager – Environmental Services Gwen Keeble said, “Because of our crew’s quick action, those bees are thriving today in their new home at Lomar Farm.”
She added, “Thank you to the entire crew for going out of their way to save this hive, and to Lomar Farms for their quick response and amazing partnership in the rescue.”
Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R), a wholly owned subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, is a regulated utility. O&R provides electric service to approximately 300,000 customers in southeastern New York State (where its franchise name is Orange & Rockland) and northern New Jersey (where it’s Rockland Electric Company) and natural gas service to approximately 130,000 customers in New York.