The NYPD’s resident beekeeper for the last 20 years says it was jealousy and bullying that made him leave the force last October.
Anthony Planakis, known as “Tony Bees,” rounded up everything from hornets to honeybees that threatened New York City residents for the NYPD. But he says he left the department after being accused of keeping the bees he removed to stock his own backyard hives.
Planakis said he would never introduce an outside swarm to his own hives.
“You’re rolling the dice when you pick up a swarm,” he said. “Pathogens, disease… Now the last thing I want to do is introduce that to my investment.”
The accusations, he said, stemmed from “the jealousy that was running rampant, surprisingly from supervisors.” The tension escalated when he was promoted to detective and given his own vehicle for bee calls, he said.
“You know, it’s bullying, it’s what it was,” Planakis said.
An NYPD spokesperson told NBC 4 New York that Planakis retired after 20 years and three candidates are now under consideration for the voluntary beekeeping job.