Bees Swarm on Melrose Corner in The Bronx

By Julie Shapiro and Ben Fractenberg  on May 11, 2012 7:32pm

Bees clung to a tree at Melrose Avenue and East 154th Street May 11, 2012.
Bees clung to a tree at Melrose Avenue and East 154th Street May 11, 2012.
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

THE BRONX — Two swarms of bees descended on a Melrose street corner Friday evening.

One mass of bees clung to a tree at Melrose Avenue and East 154th Street, while hundreds more buzzed around a nearby apartment building.

"You don't see bees in the 'hood," said Louis Velez, 40, who lives nearby. "There were a whole bunch of them, in the thousands…. It was raining bees."

Velez said he saw a woman pushing a stroller who "freaked out" because she got caught in one of the swarms. The woman started running to prevent the baby in the stroller from getting stung, Velez said.

New York may be seeing more bee swarms this year because of the early spring, local experts said recently. Swarms occur when hives get overcrowded and a large group of bees leave to find a new home.

 "Today we were lucky because temperatures were dropping so these bees were clustered tight," said beekeeper Anthony Planakis after cutting the branch the bees were on and carefully placing it in a cardboard box.

"Don't forget, this season came early," he added, saying this was the 13th swarm this spring. "Nectar was available. Pollen was available. This is what happens."

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