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Powell man who's allergic to bees reaps sweet rewards from massive swarm that moved to his cherry tree

What started as one hive has now grown to two! Joshua Whitney decided to pick up beekeeping during the pandemic, and it has paid off sweet dividends.

When life hands you tens of thousands of bees, make honey.

A Powell home inspector who is allergic to bees didn't let that stop him from picking up beekeeping in his spare time.

During the pandemic, spare time was something Joshua Whitney had plenty of. When economic woes hit hard in March 2020 during the initial COVID-19 shutdowns, business wasn't exactly buzzing. 

Whitney decided to be self sufficient and seek out a different buzz: bees.

“Ironically, I’m allergic so I didn’t get bees for awhile,” he said.

It started off with tending a garden and planting some fruit trees. He even picked up some chickens.

Last April, he decided to take it a step further by building a bee hive for honey. Things were going well for his bees. So well, in fact, that his hive produced a second queen.

With the new queen in the market for a home, she and her 50,000-plus consorts decided to check out available real estate in Whitney's yard. They ended up making an offer on a young cherry tree about 30 feet away from the original hive.

When Whitney discovered the swarm in his yard, he decided to offer them a new home. 

The queen approved of the new hive. He even captured it on video: 

For Whitney, this means he'll be collecting twice the honey !

"You know they produce honey, I’ll actually get 60 to 70 pounds of honey from just this one hive this year," he said. "They are actually very good creatures and ironically they are not scared of me and they notice me, they know who I am. You learn to live with your bees and they learn to live with you.”

Credit: WBIR

Whitney said he is fascinated with his bees, but said if you find a swarm on your property -- it's best left in the hands of a trained bee keeper. 

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