Many of the hives before they were removed from the 111th Street home in Queens. (Andrew Cote/NYC Beekeepers A …
Authorities in New York City have raided a Queens home where a man was keeping about 3 million bees.
The bees, in 45 hives in a driveway, were carefully removed from the 111th Street house by beekeepers and police, the New York Post reports.
"There were more bees in this driveway than there are people in Queens," Andrew Cote of the New York City Beekeeper's Association, who helped remove the bees, told the Post.
Cote told Yahoo News he did not know the fate of the bees, he just assisted in their removal.
CBS Local New York reports the bees' owner was a beekeeper in China before becoming a restaurant owner in New York City. The bees were in a 20-by-20-foot space, according to CBS.
"I keep the bees like a dog or a pet," he told the Post.
But N.Y. police bee expert Detective Anthony Planakis said it was too many bees for such a small space. "Picture 45 dogs in one apartment," he said. "It's cruelty to the bees."
The stacks of hives were discovered by a real estate agent who was inspecting the house as the owner was putting it up for sale, the Post reports.
Neighbors said they had become fed up with all the buzz because of the insects, and that the bees have, at times, attacked in swarms, according to CBS.
Beekeeping is legal in the city, however hives are supposed to be registered with the Health Department. Failure to register is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 per hive.
So the owner in this case could be facing a pretty big $90,000 penalty.
And that might sting a little bit.
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