About 200,000 bees in the beehives of the Notre-Dame survived the fire that destroyed the cathedral’s roof on Monday, while people around the world are worried about their fate.
“The bees are alive,” beekeeper Nicolas Géant, who deals with Notre-Dame’s beehives near the cathedral, explained to the French Agency.
“At first, I thought the three hives had been burned, I had no information. But then I could see in the satellite images that this was not the case and the spokesman of the cathedral confirmed that they were coming in and out of the hives,” he continues.
Géant received messages and phone calls from around the world from people asking if the bees had been burned by the fire.
“It was unexpected. I received phone calls from Europe, of course, but also from South Africa, Japan, the United States and South America,” he says.
In the event of a fire and with the first indications of smoke, bees “stuff themselves” with honey and protect their queen.
“This species (the European bee) does not leave its hive. They do not have lungs, but carbon dioxide puts them to sleep,” explains Géant, who hopes to see his bees “next week.”
Each hive produces an average of 25 kilos of honey every year, sold to the Notre-Dame’s staff, which hosts them from 2013.