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ISU saves and relocates 30,000 bees from Swanson Arch in Pocatello


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POCATELLO (KPVI) — Two months ago, graduates of Idaho State University marched through the iconic Swanson Arch on their way to post-student life.

Not long after, the arch became the home of 30,000 new residents.

“I got a call Tuesday morning I believe, saying there were some bees in the arch,” said Dee Rasmussen with ISU Facilities Services.

Staff at ISU have seen hornets nests and other members of the bee family above the wood panels of the arch ceiling before. But what Rasmussen had never seen, are honeybees, housed in a significant honeycomb at the ISU landmark.

ISU facilities staff had the option of just destroying the hive, but some wanted to save and relocate the bees. So officials turned to one of their faculty.

“Can I get them? Do I have the capacity to get them? Do I have the skill-set to get them? And how do I make it happen?” said Sarah Hofeldt after being approached about removing the bees.

Hofeldt is a fitness instructor at ISU, but in her spare time, she’s been a beekeeper for four years.

“My uncle brought out some of his honey from his bees one time, and I fell in love with it,” said Hofeldt.

So at 5 a.m. Friday morning, Holfeldt and her husband got to work spending almost four hours vacuuming the bees out and eventually moving them to the Hofeldt’s home in Chubbuck.

“I’m surprised that it was perfect. Nothing went wrong, nobody got stung, people were able to go right up underneath us and the bees did not bother them one bit,” said Hofeldt.

Plenty of things could’ve gone wrong, but the one thing they believed in, was the decision to try and do what was best for the bees.

“We could’ve just gotten rid of the hive and boarded it up. It’s nice to go the extra step for something,” said Rasmussen.

This article was originally published by KPVI. It is used here with permission.