New York News

Bees swarm South Street Seaport

Saturday, May 26, 2012

South Street Seaport was buzzing Saturday, but it had nothing to do with the usual rush of tourists and shoppers.

Massive swarms of bees kept many visitors away from the popular spot in Manhattan and forced the closure of several stores, on what is normally a very busy Saturday.

Around 11:30 a.m., one restaurant manager and his staff heard something unusual outside their door.

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It was a swarm of bees buzzing around a hydrant on Fulton and Front streets, scaring away tourists and stinging business at William Miller's restaurant.

"It's Memorial Day Weekend and normally we're always busy," said Miller. "And look at the next restaurant, they're packed. And I'm so empty."

Police cordoned off the busy section of the seaport, where thousands were strolling through.

Five hours after Miller called police, a brave beekeeper finally showed up - delayed because he was responding to several other calls Saturday.

"You're looking at 15,000 to 17,000 bees approximately," said beekeeper Anthony Planakis.

The past few weeks, swarms of bees have been appearing all across the city.

Last Sunday on the Upper West Side, a mother and her baby were trapped in their SUV for more than two hours because of bees.

Two weeks ago in the Bronx, 9,000 bees clustered in a tree.

And last month in Brooklyn, 5,000 bees made a hive on a building in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

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