Man returns to car after grocery shopping to find 15,000 bees in the back seat

An off-duty firefighter, who is a beekeeper in his spare time, relocated the bees.


By Ronnie Koenig, TODAY

NBC - April 1, 2021


Last Sunday afternoon, a man in Las Cruces, New Mexico left his car window down when he made a quick stop into Albertsons supermarket. Just 10 minutes later, he came back to find an unwelcome surprise in his car that had the entire town buzzing. The unnamed man returned to his borrowed Buick in the store parking lot and as he started to drive away noticed a swarm of what turned out to be an estimated 15,000 honey bees in the back seat. The man called the police which resulted in the fire department placing a call to Jesse Johnson. The off-duty firefighter had just finished a family barbecue when he heard that his beekeeping skills were needed.


"Bee Swarm that Invaded Parked Car is Safely Relocated by Off-duty Firefighter," the Las Cruces Police Department posted on their Facebook page Monday. "An off-duty Las Cruces firefighter used his experience as a beekeeper to safely relocate a swarm that invaded a parked car Sunday afternoon."


Jesse Johnson, 37, has been with the fire department for 10 years. In his spare time, he's a beekeeper. His skills came in handy as everyone else in the Albertsons parking lot stood by, unsure how to handle thousands of swarming bees that were taking over the Buick.


"Shortly after 4 p.m. Sunday, March 28, Las Cruces firefighters were dispatched to the report of swarm of bees that took temporary residency in a car that had been parked with a window down at the Albertsonís grocery store, 1285 El Paseo Rd." the police department wrote. "Firefighters arrived to find a swarm of bees inside the vehicle. 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. 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."


While others were helpless against the overwhelming number of bees, Johnson knew the exact items he needed to solve the problem...


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