Learning opportunity surfaces after beehive relocation from Virginia Beach church

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Chiefs have many responsibilities and roles but on Tuesday two chiefs helped a local church with a bit of a different project.

Chief Fire Controlman’s Jeff Haas and Jason Mosher removed a beehive from a building that is more than 50 years old, a Navy public affairs group said.

The community relations project happened on Tuesday at Haygood United Methodist Church.

“We go abroad and do humanitarian projects, but to come back here and help out a local community is great too,” said Haas. “Also bringing awareness about bees and how to handle them makes this project closer to what I already do in my spare time.”

Haas is part of the Afloat Training Group Norfolk, and Mosher is part of Center for Surface Combat Systems Unit Dam Neck.

Both chiefs have experiences handling or tending to bees which helped them to tend to the beehive and move the bees safely.

“Every beekeeper knows another beekeeper,” said Mosher. “We come together to help each other out and pool our knowledge, just like we do in the Chiefs Mess.”

Haas and Mosher both are members of the Tidewater Beekeepers Association. TBA is the oldest beekeeping association in Virginia and strives to inform the public about the importance of bees, the Navy public affairs group said.

“It has to be a conscious effort to help the bees,” said Mosher. “We need them much more than they need us.”

According to a study from the Center for Biological Diversity, nearly 25% of native bee species are at risk of extinction. These are species that pollinate fruits and flowers, which is a $3 billion industry.

Haas and Mosher do what they can by providing a habitat for the bees and educate the public, but there is more others can do.

“Watch what you spray and when you spray it,” said Haas. “Pesticides and herbicides are a bees worst enemy. If it can kill a mosquito, it can kill a bee.”

This project not only gives bees a new and safer habitat, but serves the church as well.

“These two have been a huge blessing,” said Sony Quisenberry, the head trustee of Haygood United Methodist Church. “Every church I know of has to watch every dollar spent. Having these two do this is wonderful for us.”