In the past week, over 15,000 bees scared tourists in the South Street Seaport, while hundreds swarmed Madison Street in Brooklyn after a beekeeper dropped a giant container. The frequency of these swarms is no joke: people love the art of beekeeping and the honey it produces. But police officer Anthony Planakis, who says he's been called to 30 swarms this spring, believe there's going to be a lot more swarms this summer: “It hasn’t even started yet,” he told the Post. “Within the next week, we’re going to be bombarded again.”
In 2010, the year beekeeping was legalized in the city, there were only 3 registered hives; two years later, there are 161. “The hives, and the swarms, have grown exponentially,” said Andrew Coté, founder of the New York City Beekeepers Association. “And the longer they hang on a stop sign or playground, the worse it is for legalized beekeeping.” Coté and Planakis say they were called to more than a dozen swarms last week alone.
“Preventing bees from swarming is like preventing teenagers from having sex,” said Tim O’Neal of Borough Bees. “You can say, ‘Hey, this is a bad idea’...but ultimately it’s up to the bees.” Coté, who was instrumental in getting Rudy Giuliani's ban on bees lifted, is now pushing the city to license beekeepers and to limit the number of colonies. Until then, if you run into a swarm, contact your friendly neighborhood beekeepers and let them safely find the little plant pollinators a new home. And if all else fails, you can always try human sacrifice to appease the Bee God: