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9,000 Bees Swarm on The Bowery

By Trevor Kapp | May 17, 2012 8:25am
More than three pounds of feral bees took over a Bowery Street tree Wednesday afternoon.
More than three pounds of feral bees took over a Bowery Street tree Wednesday afternoon.
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DNAinfo/Trevor Kapp

LOWER EAST SIDE — A swarm of 9,000 bees covered a Bowery tree Wednesday.

In the latest incident, the insects took over the tree at 305 The Bowery for about an hour before being removed by the NYPD's bee specialist Anthony Planakis.

The insect expert has been busy this year with several swarms being reported across the city.

On April 30, more than 7,000 hunter bees were removed from a tree in front of a bodega in the Melrose section of the Bronx. Earlier this month, thousands of bees made a temporary home on 35th Street in Astoria before being removed.

“It’s gonna be a very busy season,” said Planakis, who removed the swarm on Bowery Street without a protective suit.

“When it rains, they usually stay away and don’t want to be outside. But when the climate changes, they swarm.”

Planakis said that when the queen bee decides to leave one location, the rest follow, as was the case Wednesday lunchtime.

Lance Anderson, 47, a maintenance worker from St. Albans, Queens, said he was amazed at how much attention the bees received, both from on-lookers and from the police.

“They don’t even send Emergency Service trucks for most crimes,” he said. "It’s kinda cool.”

“It’s nature,” said Frank Jenkins, 54, a construction worker from the Lower East Side who watched as the swarm was removed.

He said despite having lived in the city for more than two decades, he still witnesses something new every day.

“It’s New York,” he said. “It’ll never cease to amaze you.”