An off-duty Las Cruces firefighter experienced in beekeeping safely relocated the bee swarm from the car.
Last Sunday, a man in Las Cruces, New Mexico, made a quick 10-minute stop in the Albertson's grocery store only to find a swarm of bees in his car when he came back.
The man had kept the window down in his Buick while he went inside the store. Shortly after he returned, he found approximately 15,000 honeybees invading the backseat of his car. He had already started driving before he noticed the swarm inside the vehicle. The man immediately called 911, and the Las Cruces Fire Department was notified.
Officers quickly blocked the surrounding area of the parking lot to protect other shoppers from the bees. Jesse Johnson, an off-duty officer whose hobby is beekeeping, was called by the fire department for help. Las Cruces Fire Department posted about the incident on their Facebook page last week.
Bee Swarm that Invaded Parked Car is Safely Relocated by Off-duty Firefighter An off-duty Las Cruces firefighter used...Posted by Las Cruces Fire Department on Monday, March 29, 2021
It took almost 2 hours for Johnson and the crew to relocate the 15,000 bees safely. Johnson, 37-years-old, has been with the fire department for the last 10 years, rehomed the bees in hive boxes, and has kept them safe on his property. "I'll do anything to keep people from killing the bees," he said to the press.
As Johnson explained, it is common for the insects to follow their queen and relocate in the springtime. "Luckily, when bees are swarming, they're pretty docile," he said. "They don't have a home to protect for a moment. It's much more intimidating than it is dangerous."
Johnson had arrived with the necessary kit to remove the swarm: lemongrass oil, hive box, gloves, and proper gear. On social media, people showed their amazement at how skillfully Johnson relocated the insects without harming them.
Apart from a supermarket security guard and a firefighter getting stung, officials reported no significant injury. Generally, fire departments do not remove bee swarms, but since this incident occurred in a high-traffic area and the bees were relatively docile, they acted upon it promptly.
Experts advise staying away from any place where a bee swarm is suspected to be present. When attacked, run as fast as possible and call 911.
Have you faced such situations? Share with us in the comments.