Beekeeping Trend Brings Swarm Emergencies to NYC

This spring alone, police were called to 30 different bee clusters buzzing around the city

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    Beekeeping has spiked in popularity since it became legalized in New York City in 2010, and it's brought a spate of unwelcome swarms along with it.

    This spring alone,  police were called to 30 different bee clusters buzzing around buildings, light poles and fire hydrants, according to the New York Post.

    "The hives, and the swarms, have grown exponentially," Andrew Coté, found of the New York City Beekeepers Association, told the Post. "And the longer they hang on a stop sign or playground, the worse it is for legalized beekeeping."

    Last month, Anthony Planakis, the police officer who has been removing bee clusters across the city for 18 years, removed four pounds of bees from a tree on the Bowery and rescued a family when 10,000 honeybees descended on their SUV in Hell's Kitchen. And on Memorial Day weekend, there were 17,000 bees buzzing around a fire hydrant at South Street Seaport.

    "Within the next week, we're going to be bombarded again," Planakis told the Post.

    The rooftop beekeeping trend will only spur more emergencies: colonies are being kept atop hundreds of homes and posh hotels, according to the Post. There are now 161 hives registered with the city Health Department, compared to just three in 2010 -- the year beekeeping was legalized.

    “There are too many hives right now,” Coté told the Post. “As it increases in popularity, it will be more and more difficult to control."

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