WATCHUNG, NJ - Somerset County Library System of New Jersey’s Watchung Library branch was closed Wednesday, August 17, so that a large dead tree just outside of the Library could be removed. At the time of tree removal, an estimated 50,000 Italian Honey Bees living in the tree were removed and relocated.  

The bee activists who are pictured and responsible for the removal and relocation of the bees are Lauren Roynestad and Adam Butrico, both members of the Beekeepers Association of Rutgers University. They volunteer their time, talents, and equipment. The bees will be studied (genetically) once relocated.

"Watchung values the natural world,” Sondra Epstein of the Watchung Environmental Commission. “The wild Italian Honey Bees must be saved."

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The removal of the large, 100-year-old tree was necessary, as the tree was struck by lightning in a recent storm and upon evaluation, tree experts declared that it would eventually fall on the Library building.

The Library reopened for regular business hours on Thursday, August 18.

For more information, call SCLSNJ’s Watchung Library branch at 908-561-0117.