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Penn Brewery wall falls unexpectedly during demolition to reach beehive, no one hurt

| Thursday, May 22, 2014, 1:06 p.m.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Construction workers from G.F. Scatena clear rubble from the base of a building at Penn Brewery in Troy Hill after the facade unexpectedly collapsed during its removal, Thursday. Penn Brewery owners said they were removing the facade as part of a renovation of the building but also to remove a beehive shown in the top middle of the picture.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
A large beehive was revealed behind the brick facade at Penn Brewery in Troy Hill after the facade unexpectedly collapsed during its removal, Thursday. Penn Brewery owners said they were removing the facade as part of a renovation of the building but also to remove the beehive.

An exterior wall workers were demolishing on Thursday at Penn Brewery in Troy Hill collapsed, sending dust into the air and disturbing a giant beehive that had been inside the wall for years.

No one was injured during the demolition, and the hive remained intact.

Workers had removed two layers of brick from the building and were removing the third, which covered the bees, when the collapse occurred.

Construction workers on Vinial Street said they intended to bring the wall down but it fell more quickly than they anticipated.

Penn Brewery co-owner Linda Nyman said they knew about the bees but had not tried to remove the hive because the bees were not a problem.

Penn Brewery announced the demolition on its Facebook page last week and received a comment asking if it planned to use the honey in a brew.

Nyman said the idea is interesting, but the brewery would have to consult with bee experts to make sure the wild honey is safe for consumption.

The demolition of the wall was planned last year to improve the building's structural integrity and make the area safer for events such as Microbrew Fest in June. The building with the demolished wall was built in the mid-1800s, Nyman said.

The hive is to be relocated by a professional beekeeper on Friday. The wall will be rebricked.

Nyman hopes the construction will be finished before Microbrew Fest on June 7. The event is set to be held in a lot next to where the wall collapsed.

Corinne Kennedy is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at 412-320-7823 or ckennedy@tribweb.com.

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