**UPDATE** This week has been a week of blessings for Bee City. The staff, along with lots of volunteers, aided by funds that were donated, have been able to clean out a good part of the facility and start the process of rebuilding. The waters have finally receded and as of yesterday, the animals have been returned back to their homes. There is still a tremendous amount of work to do as far as buildings are concerned, but as of today (Friday, October 16th) the facility will be open. They know this is just one step in their journey to bring Bee City back to the way it was, and even better and they appreciate all the support they have received. I want to personally thank each one of you who has shared this post, and or donated to the campaign. Even though they are on their way, with more to renovate, that means a need for more help. If you are feeling led to help, the GoFundMe link is still active.
The Whole Story:
About a week ago, the area that we live in was hit by a storm like we have never seen before. We were not living in the Charleston, South Carolina area when Hurricane Hugo hit, so we had nothing to compare this storm to. All we knew was that Hurricane Joaquin would not be making landfall in or near our town. What we didn’t know at first, was that a storm that was brewing to the west of us was going to wreak havoc on our area and areas north of us. One which had not been seen for generations. The news called it a 1 in a 1000 year storm. Who even understands what that means? Those who lived here during Hurricane Hugo said the rain and subsequent flooding was far worse than during Hugo. How was that even possible? Unheard of, but that was what happened.
Our house thankfully suffered no damage, even though people were being evacuated by boats less than 10 minutes away on the other side of town. It was surreal. After the rains passed, the sun was shining, the skies were blue, and life went on for a good majority of us, although many roads were left impassable. But then something happened. We started hearing about some of the places that were left devastated by the flooding that was caused by being located in what is called the “lowcountry” and also surrounded by rivers. One of those places ended up being a favorite of our family and our homeschool group in nearby Cottageville.
The place is called Bee City. It is a petting zoo, nature center, and honeybee farm. Bee City is the go-to place for field trips where children can learn firsthand about bees and their importance in our ecosystem. The children interact hands on with the animals, including our favorite activity- feeding the lemurs. They also have a wonderful nature center where the children learn about all kinds of reptiles. As a working honeybee farm, Bee City produces their own local honey and products. Their honey is known as the best in the area. And now, they are underwater.
The animals are safe. They were evacuated last Monday. This family owned blessing to the lowcountry was devastated. The location which is only 3 miles away from the Edisto River ended up being almost ground zero for the flooding. The flooding didn’t stop when the rains stopped. That was only wave one. Wave two came when the flooding that occurred up north in the Columbia area began to make its way down, heading towards the ocean. Combined with already high flood levels, the water rose again. The water is finally starting to recede, but the damage is already done. All the animal habitats, education room, and nature center will need to be renovated. Needless to say, this will take a long time and a lot of money, and as a community, we are asking people to help them rebuild.
Please take a moment to look at the pictures. Some are from our past trips to Bee City and some are current pictures of the damage that Bee City suffered. If you feel compelled to help, the information for the GoFundMe account will be located beneath the pictures.
The GoFundMe account to help rebuild Bee City can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/p26dqrd4. For more information on the wonderful things Bee City does on a daily basis, please visit their website, Bee City.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you can, please share this in whatever way you feel would help!