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Christophe Ena, AP
A bird flies past the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Thursday, April 18, 2019. Nearly $1 billion has already poured in from ordinary worshippers and high-powered magnates around the world to restore Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris after a massive fire.

SALT LAKE CITY — Praise bee.

The Notre Dame Cathedral’s bees survived the massive fire that engulfed much of the church earlier this week, The Associated Press reports.

The Cathedral’s beekeeper, Nicolas Geant, told The Associated Press that the bees, which are kept on the church’s roof, survived the flames.

  • "I am so relieved. I saw satellite photos that showed the three hives didn’t burn. I thought they had gone with the cathedral," he said.
  • "I got a call from Andre Finot, the spokesman for Notre Dame, who said there were bees flying in and out of the hives, which means they are still alive!" Geant told CNN.

The 180,000 bees live in three hives on the church’s roof. According to USA Today, the hives were placed there to keep bee populations alive.

So how did they survive? Geant told CNN that the hives live on the sacristy roof, which is 100 feet below the main roof that burned. This helped them survive the fire.

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Interestingly, bees don’t have lungs so they can’t die from smoke inhalation, according to The Associated Press. However, they can die from excessive heat and high temperatures. But the bees never leave their hives when they’re in danger.

  • “When bees sense fire, they gorge themselves on honey and stay to protect their queen, who doesn’t move,” Geant said, according to the AP. “I saw how big the flames were, so I immediately thought it was going to kill the bees.”
  • He added, “I wouldn’t call it a miracle, but I’m very, very happy.”