Taylor Honey bees survive truck fire in St. George; permitted burn days before prevents spread

ST. GEORGE — Bees from a local honey company came dangerously close to going up in smoke as a truck caught fire Friday in a field that houses the bees.

St. George Fire Capt. John Taylor said they were quickly called to the fire and found a Mazda truck engulfed near the hives in a dry field on West Monterey Drive.

“There was a single vehicle on fire, fully engulfed near the beehives, and we had some exposures with the grass and next to this wash right here as well,” Taylor said. “We made an initial attack pass attack, and we used foam and that knocked to out pretty quick.”

Taylor said firefighters were able to protect the beehives, field and wash from catching on fire. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, he said.

The owner of the bees, Melvin Taylor, said he feels fortunate that only two days prior, he had received permission from the city of St. George to have a controlled burn. Otherwise, he said he could have lost so much more. All of his 100 hives appeared to be spared.

“So by my truck sitting where it was, we got enough water on it before the fire department got here,” Melvin Taylor said. “And if the weeds hadn’t been burned a couple of days ago, the whole thing would have just went up. The St. George Fire Department has been good to me.”

At almost 75 years old, he started his Taylor Honey business in Santa Clara, Utah, when he was 14. Currently, his son Jared and his grandson help out with the company. Taylor Honey works with local farmers like Sterling’s Fruit and Vegetables and Frei’s Fruit Market.

According to their Facebook page, Taylor Honey also assists Stehli Farms to help educate school children about bees and beekeeping.

Video submitted by Matt Yourglich.

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