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July 17, 2019

AEP Transmission Team Assists in Honey Bee Relocation

Recently, a sweet solution was found for a worker safety risk at an AEP Transmission Construction Laydown Yard in Columbus, Ohio. An employee at the laydown yard discovered a large colony of honey bees had created a hive inside a large coaxial cable spool being stored outside.

“You could see quite a few honey bees going in and out of a spool opening in a large reel of coax cable, and flying around the area,” said Randy Christian, Telecommunications Site Construction coordinator senior. “It was obvious that quite a few bees had taken residence there. When figuring out how to eliminate the safety risks to our workers, we knew it was important to safely relocate the honey bee hive to protect these endangered pollinators.”

Nicholas Napalo, Safety & Health consultant for Telecommunications Construction, told the Telecommunications Construction team, “While we need to remove this safety risk to workers, we also must protect the honey bees.”  Napalo asked the team to find someone who could identify the type of bees and safely remove them.

AEP Supply Chain Field Operations assistant Matthew Hatcher called in an expert from Orchard Lane Apiary to safely remove and relocate the hive and its queen. Three employees even went home and got their bee suits to assist in the removal/relocation effort; beekeepers Joe D. Moore and Chad Simmons from Telecommunications Site Construction and Dustyn Douglas with Supply Chain Procurement and Fleet Operation provided back-up.

The team worked with the apiary owner to break down the spool reel and safely capture and relocate an estimated 30,000-40,000 honey bees – a win-win for the bees and employees alike.

Click here to learn more about how AEP Transmission balances providing reliable electric service with respecting the environment.

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