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Thousands of Bees Swarm Upper West Side Garbage Can

By Emily Frost | September 21, 2012 6:36pm

UPPER WEST SIDE — Thousands of bees swarmed a trash can at the southwest corner of West End Avenue and 107th Street on Friday, causing quite a buzz among confused passersby.

No stings have been reported.

NYPD bee expert Antony "Tony Bees" Planakis said that three active hive frames were discovered in the garbage can — located in front of The Underground Lounge — but he does not think that somebody simply dumped live bee hives. 

The structures  picture frame-like wooden panels that feature honeycombs  are several years old and have no signs of eggs, so he thinks that someone threw them in the trash and that a local hive then moved to it. 

Still, Planakis said, the beekeeper who discarded the frames acted irresponsibly.

He explained that the bees were probably prompted to swarm the frames on account of recent cold temperatures. Bees swarm to keep the queen warm, he explained.  

Planakis used a scented "swarm box" to corral the estimated 2,000 honeybees at roughly 2:45 p.m.

Dan Stadola, who works at Martin Brothers Wine & Spirits directly across 107th Street, said he first saw the bees around 10:30 a.m. 

According to Stradola, cops arrived around 1 p.m.

"I think once they realized it wasn't yellow jackets, they called police," he said.

After the bees are safely in the swarm box, Planakis will transport them to his hives.

"I got to watch them now," he said. "These are my babies."