A big swarm of bees has gathered on top of a hot dog stand in Times Square this afternoon. Or as real estate agents might put it, the bees have signed a lease on a luxury one umbrella studio with great views of the artisanal Walgreens. Update: The bees have moved to the suburbs—see our last update below.
Bees are dying at an alarming rate
Let’s group in the thousands on top of a hot dog stand umbrella pic.twitter.com/MYvVi4e4X4
— Vegeta's Pride (1080p HD) (@xacbranch) August 28, 2018
The NYPD have roped off part of 43rd Street near the scene, and are now in the process of literally vacuuming up the bees, who are assembled en masse on the Sabrett-emblazoned umbrella.
— Katie Corrado (@KatieCorradoTV) August 28, 2018
You can watch a live stream of this bee-autiful police sting as it unfolds below.
A swarm of bees has taken over a hot dog stand in Times Square and we have LIVE VIDEO! https://t.co/GkXzPQvCad
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) August 28, 2018
The city is no stranger to massive bee swarms—an "after-swarm" of bees even took up residence on a bike and a traffic light in Midtown a few years back. Former NYPD bee manager Tony "Bees" Planakis told us at the time that wayward swarms like this are often expats from a nearby beehive. "When a swarm takes place, it's going to take place within 100, 150 feet of the mother hive," Planakis said. "Bees are going to say, 'We're going to go to the closest location and sit there and regroup, we're going to wait for the queen to arrive, and once she does, scouts will go look for a new home.'"
At least New Yorkers bee so happy now:
i am on it do not worry pic.twitter.com/tQ3CUBLO76
— darth™ (@darth) August 28, 2018
the bees are improving times square let them stay
— Colin Campbell (@colincampbell) August 28, 2018
Sirens of the apocalypse are a swarm of NYC bees taking over a hotdog stand in Times Square https://t.co/jpxHui6hOH
— Sam 🍔 Blum (@Blumnessmonster) August 28, 2018
maybe the bees are here to fix the subway
— David Sims (@davidlsims) August 28, 2018
[CARRIE V/O]: As Miranda walked through Times Square to meet her honey, she found something even better--an impromptu Bumble date.
MIRANDA: This hot dog tastes like bees
— Daniel D'Addario (@DPD_) August 28, 2018
Update: Police Commissioner James O'Neill decided he couldn't help himself:
Fear not, New Yorkers and tourists. Midtown Manhattan is all abuzz about #NYPD’s ability to bee 🐝 a full-service organization. Right now, we’re humanely, & safely, handling the @NYPDBees swarm in @NYPDTimesSquare. Just another day in #NYC. @NYPDnews https://t.co/iXlQ79dRpk
— Commissioner O'Neill (@NYPDONeill) August 28, 2018
— NYPDTimesSquare (@NYPDTimesSquare) August 28, 2018
Update: NYPD beekeeper Darren Mays told Gothamist that his colleague, and the NYPD's only other beekeeper, Officer Michael Lauriano of the 1st Precinct, responded to the swarm. He estimates that it was about 20,000-30,000 bees, which is an "average"-sized swam. Swarms usually occur when the hive is "overcrowded," he said, when "it's hot and humid" like today.
The bees were taken to a farm on Long Island.
Fun fact to the bee-uninformed: Mays, who works in the 104th Precinct and got into beekeeping through a friend ("I thought it was comical), explained that swarms do have a queen bee that leads the other bees to a new location, and there is another queen bee left in the old hive.