Honey bees removed from brain in a tree at art store in North Austin

Some tens of thousands of honey bees take over an art project in North Austin. Bee Czar Walter Schumacher was called in to help save them.  “The smartest bees in the world are inside that brain. By the flight pattern, I would say that there are somewhere around 50,000 bees, it's your average beehive,” he said.

The art project has been there for a few years at Jerry's Artarama off of I-35 in North Austin. It’s a brain that sits about 12 feet high in a tree and the bees have been building a hive in it. “We come and take bees where they are unwanted, and we take them to places where they're wanted,” Schumacher said.

Schumacher runs Epic Honey Company, AHBPA, and the American Honey Bee Protection Agency. It’s a nonprofit that rescues bees rather than exterminate them. “We are going to transport the brain to Southeast Travis County where I have 20 acres, and we are going to open the brain basically and dissect it,” he said.

Schumacher said bees are important for the State of Texas and exterminating could lose a lot of money in agricultural production. “It's all about food, we need food, they need food, as long as we are nice to them, they are nice to us.”

Brittany Stracke is the manager for Jerry's Artarama, and say=id the artist put the brain there a few years ago “He originally had this brain, and said hey, I got this brain, can I put it in the tree it'll be great, he wanted to paint the whole tree, like dendrites in the brain,” she said. She said it has become quite the icon. “It's going to be really weird not having it here, there's a lot of people who have pictures of it, a lot of people stand below it with a shot of their brain sitting on top of their head.” But she started to get concerned with the safety, “Customers were starting to notice it and if anybody's allergic to them or anything walking by or decided to mess with it you know just to give it them a safer home,” she said.

Schumacher said they will save the honey the bees made in the brain. He said they are one of the only places that makes and sells wild honey.

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