Mike Studer, the state apiarist, has asked that Blount County beekeepers — particularly those in the evacuation zone of last week’s train derailment — request that CSX have honey from beehives within the zone analyzed for contaminants.

That request should be made at the CSX outreach center, which is located at Heritage Middle School.

Studer said beekeepers within the zone can extract the honey in their hives, but they should keep it separate from other honey they have and they should clean their equipment thoroughly after the extraction. The request to separate the honey will hold until honey from the zone can be analyzed.

All Blount beekeepers should continue to monitor their hives to check for significant bee kills for at least another week.

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