The Bees Living on Notre Dame’s Roof Survived the Fire

PARIS, France — The bees that live on the roof of Notre Dame are alive and buzzing, having survived the devastating fire that ripped through the cathedral on Monday, the beekeeper Nicolas Geant confirmed to CNN.

“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!”

Notre Dame has housed three beehives on the first floor on a roof over the sacristy, just beneath the rose window, since 2013. Each hive has about 60,000 bees.

Geant said the hives were not touched by the blaze because they are located about 30 meters below the main roof where the fire spread.

“They weren’t in the middle of the fire, had they been they wouldn’t have survived,” Geant said. “The hives are made of wood so they would have gone up in flames.”

“Wax melts at 63 degrees if the hive had reached that temperature the wax would have melted and glued the bees together, they would have all perished.”

While it is likely that the hives were filled with smoke, that doesn’t impact them like it would with humans, Geant explained.

“Bees don’t have lungs like us,” he said. “And secondly, for centuries to work with the bees we have used bee smokers.”

A bee smoker is a box with bellows which creates a white, thick cold smoke in the hives, prompting the bees to calmly gorge on the honey while beekeepers do their work, Geant said.

Geant said he wouldn’t be able tell whether all of the bees are alive until he was able to inspect the site, but he’s confident because the hives didn’t burn, and because bees have been spotted flying in and out.

“I was incredibly sad about Notre Dame because it’s such a beautiful building, and as a catholic, it means a lot to me. But to hear there is life when it comes to the bees, that’s just wonderful. I was overjoyed,” he added.

“Thank goodness the flames didn’t touch them. It’s a miracle!”

2 comments

  • yabbadabbadude

    Breaking News on the Notre Dame fire – the world famous French Psychic Fire Investigation Unit has declared the fire was started by an electrical short circuit without having to set foot inside the Cathedral itself due to hazardous conditions, according to French authorities. These miracles of human evolution protect real fire investigators from risking life and limb from actually having to go inside of burned out structures, which in fact might be dangerous. They also save time and money for France, because going inside of fire-damaged structures, making learned observations and taking samples of debris as they look for various accelerants and the accompanying lab fees that go with it can be quite costly and time consuming. This is the first time the Unit had to make a second declaration, as they stated “IT WASN’T TERRORISM” while the Cathedral itself was still burning. A spokesman for the Unit said that the smoke was too thick initially, and it was blocking the ‘psychic waves’ that are needed to find the true cause of the fire. They had to wait until the fire was totally out to make an accurate determination of the cause.

  • Bob Stevens

    The bees weren’t affected because they weren’t in the area the fire was intentionally set in. The plan was to destroy the main structure. Maybe the mystery guy dressed as a worker in the tower video might know something.

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