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Statehouse abuzz with Holly Grove hive removal

Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by F. Brian Ferguson State Department of Agriculture employee Beth Southern helps remove bees from the second-floor porch of the Holly Grove mansion on the state Capitol grounds on Monday.
Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by F. Brian Ferguson
State Department of Agriculture employee Beth Southern helps remove bees from the second-floor porch of the Holly Grove mansion on the state Capitol grounds on Monday.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Angry crowds are not unheard of at the state Capitol Complex, but the one dispersed Monday was a bit different.

Department of Agriculture apiarist Wade Stiltner was called in Monday morning to remove a hive of bees from the back porch of the Holly Grove mansion, adjacent to the Governor’s Mansion on Kanawha Boulevard.

Using a specially designed bee vacuum that captures bees without harming them, Stiltner filled up two bee cages in short order.

“I’ll use these for demonstrations around the state, talking about bee-keeping,” he said after containing the swarm of bees.

Just two months ago, Stiltner was called to the same location to remove a hive of bees. That time, he also got about 40 pounds of honey, which was taken to the Governor’s Mansion.

On Monday, Stiltner said the new swarm had not enough time to produce many honeycombs before their removal.

 He said it’s not unusual for a new swarm of bees to locate its hive on the site of a previous hive, using their sense of smell…

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