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Refugee bees make themselves at home at the U.N.

Thursday, June 22, 2017 - 02:03

Three colonies of Italian honeybees made themselves at home on the North Lawn of the United Nations headquarters as part of the U.N.'s ongoing greening and conservation effort. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: The North Lawn of the United Nations headquarters in New York was a hive of activity in more ways than one after three colonies of Italian honeybees made themselves at home as part of the U.N.'s ongoing greening and conservation effort. President of the U.N. General Assembly Peter Thomson visited the bees, held up a frame and examined a beehive. "We're really happy to have them here because as you know, this year is all about the Sustainable Development Goals and a big part of the Sustainable Development Goals is biodiversity and healthy living, respect for nature, balance in nature," he said. "Bees are suffering around the world. It's not clear why, but obviously pesticides have got a big part to do with it, climate change. But you know we have to appreciate that one third of the food that we eat comes from bees and other insects that pollinate that food. So they are essential to our way of life as a species on this planet. And I'm really glad that the United Nations recognizes that by having these refugee bees take up a home in the North Lawn gardens here," he continued. Founder of Bees Without Borders Andrew Coté explained why they were called refugee bees: "When a queen bee leaves in a swarm she takes a third to half of the bees with her, but then they land somewhere and they may not necessarily have a home. So often, they need to be collected or rescued by a beekeeper and then they need a home, a proper home. So these bees hit the lottery. Each one was a swarm that we requeened and so that we would have a nice, docile, even-tempered bee, and they're here." Coté will harvest the honey for the U.N. gift shop. Proceeds from the honey will go towards sustainable beekeeping around the world. Coté's family business is AndrewsHoney.com, a fourth generation family of beekeepers, which funds Bees Without Borders.

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Refugee bees make themselves at home at the U.N.

Thursday, June 22, 2017 - 02:03