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Bees Take Over East Harlem Tree, Send Branch Crashing To Ground

A swarm of bees took over a tree and knocked down a branch in East Harlem on Wednesday, June 11. (Credit: CBS 2)

A swarm of bees took over a tree and knocked down a branch in East Harlem on Wednesday, June 11. (Credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A swarm of bees took over a tree in East Harlem Wednesday afternoon, putting so much weight on one branch that it broke off.

The swarm of bees made their home in a tree on Third Avenue and East 123rd Street, police said.

Officers cordoned off the area and brought in their bee expert, Detective Anthony Planakis, to defuse the situation.

Planakis put on his protective gear to shake the bees into a box. He explained that the weight of the swarm left one branch lying on the ground.

“It was so heavy, and plus, with the wind it cracked the branch down and fell to the sidewalk,” Planakis said. “Luckily, there weren’t any pedestrians because they would’ve gotten seriously hurt.”

The captured bees will be moved to a hive somewhere in downtown Manhattan.

This is the fourth time in the past six weeks that a swarm of bees has taken over a tree or city block and made headlines for doing so.

On Memorial Day, May 26, a swarm of bees adopted a tree branch over a car on 72nd Street between Broadway and West End Avenue, on the Upper West Side. Police shut down pedestrian traffic near the tree as Planakis caught the queen bee and directed all the bees into the box.

On May 20, police shut down Montrose Avenue between Lorimer and Leonard streets in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, after a swarm of 24,000 bees landed on the block around noon, according to a DNAInfo report.

The bees landed in a tree and migrated to the ground, the publication reported.

On May 7, the NYPD rounded up thousands of bees that were found swarming all over a block of 28th Street in Astoria, Queens. In that case, police and neighbors said that the bees came from a series of rooftop hives belonging to a local homeowner.

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