Cosmopolis, WA – Something other than high purity cellulose has been in production at the Cosmo Specialty Fibers mill over the past year. A huge hive of honeybees was discovered in the hog fuel dryer bag house.
“Although the hive was probably less than a year old, it housed over 150,000 honeybees and was about three feet high,” related safety and health manager, Donna Parsons. “The honeycomb in the hive was quite big and the honey tasted very good."
With all the news about the depletion of honeybees over the past few years from what’s known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the mill asked local beekeeper, Jonathon Taylor, to vacuum the honeybees and relocate them to a new hive. Parsons said it was interesting to see the bees in the vacuum container form a protective ball around the queen. “We understand that CCD is still a big problem, but these honeybees were very healthy.”
The honeybees aren’t the only wildlife living on the mill premises. Mill spokesperson, Robert Buchan said that despite the noises, odor and smoke that are part of daily life at the mill, the honeybees were thriving and an Osprey nest on a light pole near the chip dump has a new family again this year. “We also have geese, deer, at least one bear and a cat as semi-permanent residents on the mill grounds, although only the geese will walk around the main mill buildings.”