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New York City bees turn red from cherry juice

Tuesday, November 30, 2010 | 1:43 p.m. CST

NEW YORK — A bunch of Brooklyn bees have been coming home looking flushed.

New York City beekeeper Cerise (seh-REEZ') Mayo was puzzled when her bees started showing up with mysterious red coloring. Their honey also turned as red as cough syrup. She tells The New York Times a friend joked that the bees were imbibing the runoff at Dell's Maraschino Cherries Company, in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn. Mayo — whose first name means "cherry" in French — raises bees in that neighborhood and across the water on Governor's Island.

Tests confirmed the bees were riddled with Red Dye No. 40 — the same food coloring found in the cherry juice. Bee expert Andrew Cote tells the newspaper that bees had been creating a big nuisance at the factory.

The solution? Put up screens or provide a closer source of sweet nectar.


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Comments

Barbara Jane November 30, 2010 | 3:46 p.m.

How timely! Brooklyn bees are working year round.

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