EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A swarm of bees invaded a parked car on Sunday in Las Cruces. Luckily, an off-duty Las Cruces Fire Department firefighter was able to use his beekeeping experience to help.
Firefighters were called to the parking lot at Albertson’s, located at 1285 El Paseo Rd., just after 4 p.m. on Sunday. When firefighters arrived, they found a swarm of bees inside a car, which had been parked with the window down while the owner shopped for groceries.
The bees were successfully removed by off-duty firefighter Jesse Johnson who, in his spare time, is a beekeeper. Decked in a beekeeping suit and gloves, Johnson used a hive kit and lemongrass oil to remove the bees from the car. An estimated 15,000 bees were relocated.
Firefighters learned the owner of the car returned from shopping, placed groceries in his vehicle and started to drive off before noticing the swarm in the backseat.
The fire crew was on scene for nearly two hours while the bees were removed and rehomed. 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 said it does not regularly remove bee swarms. However, to mitigate the hazard that the large swarm presented in a relatively high-traffic area, firefighters determined the best remedy was to have the swarm removed and relocated right away.