Firefighters Remove 15,000 Bees from Car Parked Outside of a Grocery Store: 'Bee-utiful Job!'

·2 min read

 Las Cruces Fire Department  

One off-duty firefighter in New Mexico got the rare chance to show off his beekeeping skills when he helped to remove thousands of bees from a car parked outside of a grocery store this weekend. 

The Las Cruces Fire Department responded to an unusual call on Sunday afternoon — a swarm of bees had made their home inside a Buick car in an Albertson's parking lot. According to the department, the car's owner said he had put his grocery's inside the vehicle and was about to drive away when he noticed the swarm in the backseat. 

"After blocking off the immediate area to ensure the safety of nearby shoppers, Las Cruces firefighters called upon the services of off-duty firefighter Jesse Johnson who, in his spare time, is a beekeeper," the department said in a post to Facebook.

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 Las Cruces Fire Department  

 Las Cruces Fire Department  

"Johnson arrived with the proper tools for the trade – a hive kit, lemongrass oil, gloves and proper attire – and was successful in removing the bees from the car and relocating them to a more suitable location," they added.

Shocking pictures from the scene show a large grouping of bees in the car's backseat, with many others flying around the parking lot. The department says the bees inside the vehicle are estimated to number about 15,000.

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Johnson was able to remove them and relocate them to an area on his property.

"The fire crew was on scene for nearly two hours while the bees were removed and rehomed," the department said in a statement. "A security guard at Albertson's was stung and it is possible a few patrons may have had close encounters, but no major injuries were reported."

"The Las Cruces Fire Department does not regularly remove bee swarms," they continued. "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 department's Facebook post garnered a ton of attention from locals, who took their chance to make hilarious puns poking fun at the situation. 

"Bee-Z day for LCFD," one commenter wrote.

Added another: "Bee-utiful job LCFD!