SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Petit Branch Library in Syracuse’s Westcott neighborhood has plans to expand.

“We’re adding a community room to the library, about 2,000 square feet,” said Branch Manager Carol Johnson.

They’ve been planning for this for a while. Work is set to begin next spring. Johnson said the branch is one of two in Syracuse that does not have a community room, so this is a welcomed addition.

“When we do have community meetings or library programs, they happen in the library so often people have to come and pick out books around you,” Johnson explained. “It’s, it’s tight it’s a little bit difficult.”

The community room is going to be added to the back of the building and it’s going to expand where the park spots in the parking area. But just a few feet away, one of the biggest challenges in the process is an old tree.

“They don’t want to come out,” said Bee Keeper Bob Faulkner. “I’ve got to find a way to get them out. Through trickery, I get them out of the tree.”

Faulkner is talking about these honey bees that have made this tree their home. “They’re 60 to 80 maybe 90,000 bees. There’s a lot of bees in the tree,” Faulkner said.

With that many, it’s going to take Faulkner about three months to get them all out. He’s been passionate about bees his whole life. He worked in IT, eventually deciding to become a beekeeper.

“I’ve saved 90 colonies last year,” he said. It’s an important task.

“I’ve heard a number somewhere in the range of 93% of all the food that we eat is influenced or touched by a honey bee. If they don’t pollinate, if they don’t germinate, if they don’t take care of what’s out there, then we’re not going to have any food.”

Bob Faulkner, Bee Keeper at Syracuse Honey

That’s why when the library reached out, he gladly answered the call.

If you have honey bees on your property, Faulkner urges you not to spray or kill them. He says instead to call a beekeeper to safely relocate them. You can learn more about his work here.