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'Thousands of bees' swarm White House
By Eric Zimmermann - 05/16/10 12:31 PM ET
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/98075-thousands-of-bees-swarm-white-house

A swarm of "thousands of bees" gathered outside the White House this morning.

The small army of insects hovered as Obama tried to leave the White House to play basketball at Fort McNair, according to a pool report.

By the time the president returned at noon, the bees were apparently nowhere in sight.
 

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I can almost guarantee you that the blogger writing about this is clueless about bees and bee equipment. He's probably referring to whatever base the hive is sitting on but doesn't know what it's properly called. I guess "stool" is his best guess.
 

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My understanding is that he was already a WH employee (they don't necessarily change when administrations do) who kept bees on his own time. He was sort of drafted when Mrs. Obama decided to do the garden.
 

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One of Charlies friends is a member of this forum. If you search some old posts you can get more info on the white house bees, & Charley
 

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I feel bad. I told Kim Flottum about the swarm and he told me to break it to Charlie about the swarm that might be from the hive he manages and showed him the article. He was surprised that he didn't get a call yesterday morning. Last year he was notified right away when there was a swarm near the press area.

The queen that was recently in the hive, was from late last summer. He said it was a real boomer. If it did swarm, he's worried about losing the Basswood flow that is coming on strong. Dave Hackenberg confirmed in past inspection, that the hive was putting up nice Basswood honey.

He's been keeping bees since 2007. He sounds like a fine beekeeper to me. The hive produced 135 pounds of honey in 2009 and overwintered. He said he had inspected recently and everything looked fine. I'm sure it's probably hard to inspect on it's high 4' platform frequently. He has been a carpenter at the White House for 25 years. He's a really nice guy.

Definately sounds like a great apiary site. Interestingly, when Obama approached Charlie, the President asked about getting 3-4 hives. It was decided to just have 1.

The image of him lighting his smoker with Marine One taking off got quite a laugh.
 

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sounds like they need a new keeper for the whitehouse bees -- better managment !!!!!!!!! also --- im just wondering why they put the hive on a stool ??? once they get 4-5 supers on there its going to get top heavy... just my thoughts
With all due respect, what really ignorant thoughts they are. Perhaps you do not mean to come across that way, but maybe if you had done some reading or even a simple google search, you would understand the clear rationale for why that hive is up that high.
Whose hives do not swarm sometimes? Who knows if this swarm, which was described as small, is even from White House hives- there are several beekeepers in DC proper.
 

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My understanding is the hive is on that stand due to the prop wash from Marine One. Hope prop wash is the correct term:)
 

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Like I told Charlie, there's no guarantee that it was his swarm. Hopefully, he'll go in later this week and find his queen doing just fine. Again, great guy and what a great location.

So, more importantly, do you think that someone would pay $1,000 a pound for White House honey? ;)
 

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So, more importantly, do you think that someone would pay $1,000 a pound for White House honey? ;)
Yes. Folks pay $15,000 a plate for dinner with the Prez. Fundraising is fundraising... with the right kind of label, it would quickly become a collector's item! Probably more rare and valuable if unopened! :lpf:
Regards,
Steven
 

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I'm just glad that there is a beehive at the White House. It gives a lot of visability to beekeeping as a whole. :thumbsup:
I doubt anyone outside the beekeepering community bothers to read this. And if they do they will most likely go away with the thought that honey bees swarm.
 

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One of Charlies friends is a member of this forum.
Friendly correction there Dan, several of Charlies friends are members of this forum, winevines, Michael Palmer, Toni Burnham, adamf, habutti and myself, if not several others. Charlie's good people and manages his bees very well.
 

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I was at the Medina meeting last night and really enjoyed Charlie's talk. I took him as a very carefull beekeeper, someone who if he doesn't know the answer seeks out someone who does. And he seems to have a lot of good people to ask for advice. His stories were great, carrying bees on the Metro, checking with Secret Service before lighting his smoker, and he's doing alot of good will for bees by sharing his story, if you ever have the chance to hear him talk, don't miss it. Rhonda
 
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