The 200,000 bees which live on the roof of the Notre Dame Cathedral have survived the fire which started at the building on April 15.
The blaze engulfed the 850-year-old Parisian landmark, destroying its spire and roof.
Beekeeper Nicolas Géant was concerned the fire also demolished the three beehives which were placed on a sacristy adjoining the cathedral’s roof in 2013, but they have survived.
As reported by MailOnline, Géant confirmed the residents are still buzzing to his relief.
He said yesterday (April 18):
The bees are alive. Until this morning, I had had no news. At first I thought that the three hives had burned but I had no information after Monday’s fire.
Then I saw from satellite images that this was not the case and then the cathedral spokesman told me that they were going in and out of the hives.
The beekeeper described the Notre Dame bees as loyal, adding they wouldn’t have abandoned their hive or queen.
The species of bee is one first bred by Benedictine monk Brother Adam, approximately 100 years ago.
Each of the Notre Dame’s three hives produces around 25 kilograms of honey every year, which is then sold to the cathedral’s staff.
The bees were introduced six years ago as part of a city-wide biodiversity project, with colonies also placed at other locations including the Paris Opera.
Yesterday police announced that investigators believe an electrical short-circuit is most likely the cause of the destructive fire.
It was previously believed the fire was related to ongoing renovation works, but officials confirmed no one was on site at the time.
A French judicial police official anonymously told Associated Press for safety reasons investigators haven’t been given the green light yet to search in the rubble and work within the cathedral.
Shortly after the fire broke out, French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to rebuild the cathedral.
As reported by Reuters, he said:
We will rebuild it together. It will undoubtedly be part of French destiny and our project for the years to come, but I am committed to it.
Starting tomorrow a national subscription will be launched and well beyond our borders we will appeal to the greatest talents and there are many who will come to contribute and rebuild us.
We will rebuild the Notre Dame, because that is what the French expect, because it is what our history deserves and its because its our deep destiny.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to [email protected]