ASTORIA — A quiet Astoria street was briefly shut down Friday by a huge swarm of bees.
The swarm contained two groups of bees, each with roughly 10,000 of the flying insects, officials said. One group buzzed out of their hive in a tree along 35th Street, while the second covered a decorative lion at the entrance gate to a home at 24-21 35th Street, near Astoria Blvd.
“It was very scary,” said resident Antoinette Spina, who said she was sweeping in front of her house, when she suddenly realized she was surrounded by bees.
Police removed the bees, which will be taken to a hive in Connecticut.
Still, some residents were unsatisfied. They want the branch where the hive where the queen bee still lives to be cut down.
“This has been an ongoing problem for three years,” said JoAnn Grenelli who lives next door to the tree, at 24-23 35 Street, and has lived on the block for more than 40 years. “My grandchildren got stung, the animals got stung, my mother-in-law who is over 80 years old got stung. They come in groups and attack everybody.”
Residents said they have called 311 numerous times about the bees.
“They said it’s nature and they didn’t want to do anything about it,” said Grenelli.
She said that there are days when the residents are not even able to get to their houses because of the bees.
“You got elderly people here, you have children. It’s impossible,” she said.