Breaking News: Gang of Bees Attacks the Mission!

Inhabitat‘s Mike Chino just sent me a text: “Check your gmail…” Anyway, he’s on the scene:

I swear to god this neighborhood keeps getting rougher….

Today (August 2nd) at 12:00 noon I spotted this itinerant horde of bees slowly making its way down 14th street between Mission and Valencia. The roving mass was apparently following a fugitive queen as she made her way down the block, clustering on top of cars and buildings with no concern for private property. Police assured a concerned public that there was, in fact, an emergency beekeeper on his way, and that there was no cause for alarm.

Cripes! Hope everybody’s okay. Thanks, Mike!

Update: Wendy was on the scene too. She kind of just broke my heart by explaining that “Emergency Beekeeper” is not an official City of San Francisco job title:

the police didn’t even know that you could call a beekeeper. they said they would put their number on file for future reference though. before my bf called the beekeepers, the police had called the fire department. they had no idea i guess.

And she says that is the place to find ass-kicking beekeepers should another emergency arise. Thanks, Wendy!

More mysterious phenomena on Mission Mission:

Humanoid Ghostbat Sighted

God Gives Me The Finger

Dead Rat in Tar With Its Spinal Chord Out on Muni Tracks Near Dolores Park

Squid With Human-Like Teeth/Gloryholes For Beginners Mashup

18 Responses to “Breaking News: Gang of Bees Attacks the Mission!”

  1. [...] a wayward queen down 14th Street. This picture and story are from Mike Chino of Inhabitat, via Mission Mission. Thanks, guys! Makes me [...]

  2. mattymatt says:

    There’s an EMERGENCY BEEKEEPER?!?!?!

  3. voodoo says:

    well…maybe we know now where the bees are all disappearing off to ;-)

  4. budle says:

    Maybe there were a kid accidentally threw a honey on that car….

    Poor kid….


  5. Allan says:

    haha, at the same time this bee story was breaking, Telstar Logistics was posting a photo of Dodge Super Bee, also cruising around Valencia:

  6. wendy says:

    this happened in front of my house. the beekeeper, karen, said she estimated about 10,000 bees! she, the carowner and i stayed until the last bee had been collected: about three hours. they were all up in crevices deep under his hood. it was hard to get the last few; had to use a special bee vacuum. karen gave the carowner and i some of her homemade honey for helping her out. she gets to keep all the bees too.

    never saw the queen, unfortunately! karen said the queen looks like a limousine bee.

  7. Allan says:

    wow thanks for the rundown, wendy. how’s the honey?

  8. wendy says:

    haven’t tried it yet. actually, i’m not a fan of honey. gave it to my roomie. karen said it’s a crystalized honey because it’s made from eucalyptus.

    if this ever happens again, go to and they’ll take care of it. save the bees! we have a shortage of them you know…

  9. mmmmeghan says:

    I wish my job title was “emergency beekeper.”

  10. sean griffin says:

    those are probably mexican bees, stealing the jobs of hard working american bees.

  11. Carowner says:

    Wow… truly amazing. Totally reminded me of Ghostbusters when Karen came out of her car, the whole block started clapping, and she put her beekeeper gear on and broke out a specially crafted beevacuum to suck away the bees! Also, cheers to Wendy and her boyfriend for calling the beekeeper and saving the bees, you two are truly the heros of this amazing story. If it weren’t for you two, my car would smell of permanent RAID. Wendy specifically was very helpful – Karen and I wouldn’t have been able to collect the majority of the bees without her help.

    FYI – there are still bees lurking in the air ventilation systems, so beware if you’re passing by.

  12. wendy says:

    carowner! what a trooper you were. i had a blast with you.

    another cool thing, readers, is that karen, the nongovernmental emergency beekeeper, let us don the beekeeping suit and help her get the fuzzy little buzzers out. but yes, we couldn’t get them all…

    who knows, carowner, maybe you’ll discover an alternative fuel with them in there.


    and congrats on the half marathon. mighty.

  13. Allan says:

    haha, comb ethanol? why not!?

  14. Karen Peteros says:

    This is the beekeeper, Karen, here. Wendy and Carowner were real troopers. As I explained many times to everyone who was crowded around and watched, when honey bees “swarm” it is a good thing for two reasons:

    1. It means the colony from which it emerged is doing well and out grew its space. The queen leaves with approx 50% of the bees in the colony, and they find a place to land before figuring out where they will go to start a new nest. Why this group decided to land on the car is unknown. Meantime, back at the hive, a new queen (daughter of the queen who left) has emerged from her queen cell. She will head-up the other 50% of the colony and perpetuate it.

    2. When honeybees swarm, they are very gentle and non-defensive. They have no honey stores or brood (baby bees before hatching) to protect, and they have gorged on honey before they left their hive, filling their special “honey stomachs” because they don’t know exactly when they will begin to set up housekeeping at their new location. They are like us after we’ve eaten a big meal (like T-day), full and kinda relaxed.

    I took the bees back to my house and installed them into a hive. I will check on them in a few days to see if we got the queen or not. If we did not, she is likely still in the air vent of the car and will either leave or die.

    I will post again once I know.

  15. Allan Hough says:

    thanks for the update, karen. fascinating, these bees!

  16. [...] Real-life hero and Emergency Beekeeper Karen just wrote in to further explain the mystery of Saturday’s bee swarm: [...]

  17. Carowner says:

    The bees are back… I thought I ditched them a couple days ago when I parked my car in a diferent spot, but they’re swarming my damn car again. I’m going to drive to San Diego tonight, I doubt they’ll be able to live it out during the highway drive. I’ll have more for you later.

  18. [...] News: Bees Swarming Again! In the comments section of the original post, Carowner says the bees are back in action (and details a dramatic plan to bounce them once and for all)! Explore posts in the same [...]

  19. [...] August 7, 2008 in nature | Tags: bees, mission district, san francisco, sf, swarm | Swarming bees and mostly sunny weather: two things I love about the Mission. [...]

  20. Rachelle says:

    what happened? I’m dying to know

  21. Rachelle says:

    2 sets of bees?

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