Holy honey: 30,000 bees discovered in Corpus Christi Parish
For three years they remained mostly hidden — nestled with crisp honeycomb oozing with honey behind a false wall in the front of the church.
Parishioners of the more than a century-old church would see the bees every so often, buzzing, as they headed into Corpus Christi on Waterford Bridge Road in St. John's.
But it wasn't until the wall was cracked open last week that it was revealed how many bees there were — an estimated 30,000, which is considered to be a medium-sized hive.
"People have been walking by past them all the time during Sunday mass, funerals and baptisms, and there's never been a sting. They're very gentle," said Paul Dinn of Adelaide's Honey.
It took about a year to find their exact location within the church.
Before Christmas, parishioners noticed the bees were flying around the inside of the church and hovering near the stained glass windows.
Honeybees and the church have ties of their own — traditionally, candles in the church have been made of beeswax, and the pope's robe is adorned with honey bees.
"You can learn a lot from the beehive, the way that they work, the way they work together as a team, and they also provide," said Andrea Clancey, administrative assistant at Corpus Christi.
"It's a symbol in the church."
To begin the process, the wall was cut open and Dinn used smoke to draw the bees out of their hive. He then carefully removed the comb one piece at a time, keeping them in the same order.
The bees have been relocated to Adelaide's Honey Bee, Pollinator and Wildflower Reserve.
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