City bee man herds swarm in Corona

By Gabrielle Prusak

NYPD Detective Tony Planakis says he had an exciting Wednesday responding to two bee incidents, including one in Queens that involved about 12,000 insects.

Planakis, known as Tony Bees, was able to safely secure each swarm without anyone being injured, but he had to deal with a bit of mayhem in between locations.

“The weather was in my favor today,” Planakis said. Because it was humid and cloudy, “the bees don’t want to take off,” he said.

The first swarm of about 3,000 bees was reported between 10:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. on 123rd Street and Third Avenue in Manhattan, Planakis said. The second incident was reported around 1:30 p.m. in Corona Park near the corner of Roosevelt Avenue and National Street.

The Queens location had about 12,000 bees, he said.

While traveling between the two calls, there was a mishap in Planakis’ truck.

“The bees escaped in the truck,” he said.

So in order to settle them down, he had to put on the air conditioning, and Planakis was able to recapture the insects without getting stung.

The detective said he was able to control both the situations so that no one was stung or otherwise injured.

Overall, there were about 15,000 bees captured, and they were brought to a ventilation area in Queens.

“At 5 a.m., the beekeeper will pick them up and take them to his hives,” Planakis said.

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