Bees in Montreal make parked car their new hive
Published Tuesday, June 10, 2014 2:52PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 11, 2014 8:34AM EDT
The odds of finding a parking spot downtown can sometimes be one in a million.
One motorist struck gold, finding a space at the corner of President Kennedy and McGill College Aves. But when he returned to his car, he found something remarkable.
Monday afternoon, Cote St. Luc councillor and EMSB spokesman Mike Cohen was downtown for a meeting.
"I was only there an hour and when I came back there was a - pardon the pun - swarm of people around my car with cell phones and as I approached, much to my horror, I saw the biggest swarm of bees I've ever seen," he said.
Turns out a queen bee had decided to colonize his car.
A call to 911 eventually resulted in two people from a group called Miel Montreal showing up with special protective equipment to collect the bees.
Miel Montreal works to protect Montreal's bee population.
"You don't have to be stressed about getting stung. They are full of honey at this moment and they are not really able to sting even if they want. I just took them with our hands and I took my sweater. I used it as a brush and it was not totally as experts would do but I think we did well," said Alexandre Beaudoin, who is a biodiversity consultant at Universite de Monteal, and works as a spokesperson for Miel Montreal.
After locating the queen bee and placing it in a bee box, the colony soon followed.
Beaudoin said the swarm likely happened when the queen was looking for a new home.
Urban beekeeping has never been more popular. With all the hives popping up in the city, beekeepers say it's important to know about bees before working with them.
"What could happen if everyone has a beehive at their house? There's too many, and they can't find their food. They change their behaviour at that moment. They become aggressive," said Beaudoin, who said the best option if to find and support local beekeepers and plant plenty of flowers.
In a blog post, Cohen said the experience was “one of the strangest experiences of my life.”