By Gary Nelson
Crossville public works employees created quite a buzz Tuesday when they began working at the Snodgrass Building behind the Cumberland County Courthouse and discovered a honey beehive of large proportions.
"This hive is about four-feet wide and about three-feet deep down into the wall. I don't know, it may even be bigger," city of Crossville Public Works Street Department Superintendent Joe Miller said.
Miller said they knew there were bees in the building, but had no idea the hive was that large.
Since they were dealing with such a large hive, the city contacted a preofessional beekeeper, H.L. Foust of Sunrise Apiaries in Cumberland County, to help remove and relocate the hive.
Honey bees are regulated by state and federal laws and Miller said they didn't want to take any chances with such a large hive.
Foust has been a handling bees for many years.
The hive was located in the upstairs of the old Snodgrass Building, which was recently purchased by the city of Crossville from Cumberland County.
The city plans to renovate the building for office space and use the lower level to build public restrooms for downtown Crossville events on the courthouse square and at the Spirit Broadband Amphitheater.
The building is currently vacant and under repair.
Foust estimated there were approximately around seven pounds of honeybees in the hive.
City employees and Foust spent several hours Tuesday morning taking the wall apart and working on the hive.
"We got them pretty stirred up right now and I'm going to have to come back again later once they get settled back in for the evening," Foust said.
Foust was wearing a protective beekeeper's suit, but a few of the city employees were stung while assisting.
Foust is relocating the hive at no charge to the city.
He estimated there were between 50,000 to 75,000 bees in the hive, which was inside the wall of Snodgrass Building.