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Millions of Bees Move Into Downtown Austin Hotel
Millions of honey bees are swarming a downtown hotel rooftop.
The TRACE restaurant at the W hotel has started a first of its kind apiary -- a bee yard -- in Austin.
KEYE TV got an exclusive look at the hives 39 floors above the hotel.
"Between the 10 boxes there is somewhere between one million and two million bees," said Central Texas Bee Rescue owner Walter Schumacher.
The bees were once agitated Africanized bees that were tamed by the non-profit Central Texas Bee Rescue.
"We have to work with the bees for a year to where they pose no threat," said Schumacher.
However, the threat Schumacher is working with is the fact 30 percent of the feral bee population is gone and not coming back.
The TRACE Restaurant Apiary at the W hotel is one way the non-profit can bring back the buzz downtown.
"These bees will allow for our species to be healthy and be pollenated," said Schumacher.
In about 60 days the apiary will have honey ready for the restaurant, bar and spa.
"We are going to feature it on our brunch and breakfast items. It will go in some glazes and some dinner items," said TRACE Chef Lawrence Kocurek.
The sweet reward means those profits can now support Schumacher's efforts to come to your rescue when you have the harmful bees.
"It allows us to have two crews on the ground so you don't have to call an exterminator anymore you can call us," said Schumacher.
Central Texas Bee Rescue does not use city or federal money and runs on a donation only basis.
The rooftop apiary is part of a City of Austin pilot program. The hope is more buildings will participate.
For more information on Central Texas Bee Rescue go to http://honeybeekind.com/.
By Christie Post