New Jersey

Bees Swarm Van Near Rockefeller Center, Shutting Down Block

A busy block near Rockefeller Center was reopened Friday afternoon after a swarm of more than 2,000 honey bees overtook a van, forcing authorities to close the street.

Video from the scene shows the yellow van parked in the middle of East 47th Street, a massive amount of bees cloaking the top of the vehicle. 

The van driver told NBC 4 New York he had come back to the vehicle around 11 a.m. after finishing up a job and opened the door to "thousands of bees." 

"They have the potential to kill people so you have to be very careful with them," said Henrique Paiva, the driver.

Bees Attack Van in Midtown, Causing Street Closure

It's not clear where they came from, but a police officer at the scene told NBC 4 New York witnesses reported first seeing a swarm of bees in front of the building across the street from where the van was parked. 

Paiva said the van contained dehumidifiers and other equipment.

The NYPD's bee wrangler was seen around 3:20 p.m. working to corral the insects. Meanwhile, cops cordoned off 47th Street between Madison and Fifth Avenue. 

The wrangler vacuumed the bees, and the van was eventually taken away and the block reopened. 

The bees were taken to the NYPD's beehive in the Bronx. 

The NYPD said June is the start of bee swarming season, and that swarming is the natural means of reproduction for honey bee colonies. 

No injuries were reported.

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