Sticky situation sets downtown abuzz

Two bees inspect a sign downtown warning passersby to beware their handiwork, which drips into the pans on the sidewalk. Honey is dripping from a hive or hives in a decorative enclosure of the building on East High Street that houses G2 Gallery and the Missouri Trucking Association.

Two bees inspect a sign downtown warning passersby to beware their handiwork, which drips into the pans on the sidewalk. Honey is dripping from a hive or hives in a decorative enclosure of the building on East High Street that houses G2 Gallery and the Missouri Trucking Association. Photo by Julie Smith.

A downtown business is faced with an age-old question after a discovery earlier this week: to bee or not to bee?

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Paula McCurren, near, and Cherie Diemler look up to see the source of the dripping honey at the Lohman Opera House on East High Street.

Workers at the Lohman Opera House found a sweet surprise Wednesday when they happened upon honey — that’s right, honey — dripping from the building onto the sidewalk below.

On Thursday, a trough set up on the sidewalk collected the honey, and a sign warned those walking downtown to “Beware dripping honey.”

“We discovered them Wednesday,” said Judy Stockton, director of business operations for the Missouri Trucking Association, which has offices in the building. “It started falling down onto the sidewalk, and we wondered what it was. At first we thought it was soda, because it was so sticky, but then we quickly realized it was honey.”

This week’s heat could be a factor in liquefying the honey enough to drip. Stockton said they contacted beekeepers, who said it was too warm to try and go after the hives, but never fear, it is on the honey-do list for later.

“They told us that would have to be done in the fall or winter, and money has been appropriated to make improvements in the building to keep the bees out,” she said.

For now, the association brought in a pest control company to spray the area where the bees are to try to keep them away.

They also put in a covering with a gutter over the entrance to keep honey from falling on the sidewalk, along with a bucket to collect the honey.

“We’ve had bees up there before, but they’ve never done anything like this,” Stockton said.

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