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Empleado de Rockport Salva Abejas

16 de Noviembre de 2023

What do you do when you notice hundreds of bees? After Rockport Plant employees discovered a beehive, they decided to save and relocate the bees. They just needed a local beekeeper and they didn't have to look too far.

"This is their world, and we are just passing through. Bees are crucial to pollination and their population is steadily declining," said Jacob Weatherholt, unit operator at Rockport Plant and local beekeeper. "Being a conservationist along my wife, Ashley, we feel it's our duty to help protect, manage and improve habitats." 

Jacob Weatherholt, an I&M employee at the Rockport Plant, is also a local beekeeper. Recently, he relocated a beehive near the plant.

Employees found the beehive while replacing a storm-damaged transmission pole near the plant. Crews dropped the pole to the ground so Weatherholt could safely remove and relocate the bees. The number one rule for those watching a hive relocation -- keep a safe distance. Weatherholt also made sure to have proper personal protection equipment including a beekeeping jacket complete with a hat, veil and gloves.

Weatherholt choose a windy October afternoon to move the bees since the wind may disrupt their flight patterns and push them faster into a new hive. He also used a temporary hive filled with honeycomb to attract the bees and placed it in the back of the truck. Once the bees were safely in their temporary hive, he took them to an apiary (a safe place for bees) seven miles from the plant. Their new home is full of wildflowers and clovers. Even though the bees are gone, the buzz they caused won’t be forgotten.

“I was surprised at the interest in the bees here at the plant,” said John Trout III, Environmental and Lab supervisor at Rockport Plant. “Bee swarms aren’t common at the plant, but we had several employee beekeepers move them off site when they are found.”

Bee relocation helps the environment as it preserves the bee population for pollination, maintains biodiversity, enhances food production and ensures safety by removing the hives from high-traffic areas. I&M has designated spots for pollinators at five of our generating facilities including Rockport Plant, St. Joseph Solar Farm, Apple Blossom Wind Farm, Mottville Hydroelectric Plant and D.C. Cook Nuclear Plant.

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