Swarm of 15,000 Bees Found Inside Parked Vehicle In New Mexico

Stock image of bees.
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During the bee removal, a fire crew was on the scene for nearly two hours. A security guard at the grocery was stung, but luckily no major injuries were reported, the department said.

What are the chances that, when a swarm of bees - 15,000 of them in this case - are found buzzing inside a parked vehicle, an off-duty firefighter who comes to the rescue also happens to be a beekeeper. Incredibly slim, but it happened.

The ordeal took place outside of a supermarket in New Mexico on Sunday. Jesse Johnson, a firefighter with the Las Cruces Fire Department (LCFD) jumped into action when he was alerted to the potentially stinging situation. 

“I will come and get it for your guys,” said Johnson when he got the call, according to a video aired by Good Morning America (GMA).

Dressed in the proper protective (bee-catching) attire — one-piece suit, head-shield with netting, gloves, and equipped with all the right tools — lemongrass oil and a portable hive kit, Johnson removed all 15,000 bees and planned to relocate them to a very familiar place: his own property, where he has an area devoted solely to bees.

Appearing cool and collected, Johnson took care of beezzzzness and told GMA a few things about the flying insects (that may produce honey but also bite). "The spring is the most common time for bees to swarm,” he told GMA. “Bees are very docile when they swarm.”

He added: “It is vital we have these insects to continue pollination,” Johnson said 

During the bee removal, a fire crew was on the scene for nearly two hours. A security guard at the grocery was stung and there were a few other close encounters, but luckily no major injuries were reported, the department said.

The incident unfolded on Sunday afternoon when the LCFD responded to a call by the driver of the Buick, who told them that he had a massive horde of bees in the back seat and had noticed it just after he put his groceries inside his vehicle. The car had been parked at Albertson’s grocery store, 1285 El Paseo Rd., according to a Las Cruces Fire Department statement.

The removal was a success. The department estimated 15,000 bees were removed and relocated to Johnson’s property, which is outside of city limits. 

“The Las Cruces Fire Department does not regularly remove bee swarms. However, to mitigate the mid-afternoon hazard the large swarm presented in a relatively high-traffic area, firefighters determined the best remedy was to have the swarm removed and relocated swiftly,” the departmment said in a Facebook post.

Next time it may be a good idea to close the windows.