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15,000 bees that swarmed a parked car in New Mexico were removed by off-duty firefighter

Firefighters say a shopper started driving home from the grocery store when he noticed the huge swarm of bees in his back seat.
Credit: Las Cruces Fire Department

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Talk about the latest buzz.

One New Mexico man was in for a surprise when he started driving home after his usual shopping trip. Thousands of bees had entered his car through a window while he was in the grocery store.

Credit: Las Cruces Fire Department

It happened Sunday afternoon at an Albertson’s grocery store in New Mexico, according to the Las Cruces Fire Department.

The department says it typically doesn't respond to bee removal calls, but in this case, it had the perfect guy for the job. Off-duty firefighter Jesse Johnson is a beekeeper in his spare time.

Firefighters say they blocked off the area to nearby shoppers while Johnson arrived with all the proper gear- a hive kit, lemongrass oil, gloves, and a beekeeping suit.

Credit: Las Cruces Fire Department

According to the fire department, Johnson successfully removed the bees and relocated them to a "more suitable location." Fire crews say they were on scene for nearly two hours while an estimated 15,000 bees were removed from the car.

An Albertson's security guard was stung, and other than a few close encounters, no major injuries were reported, according to the fire department's post.

Correction: A previous version of this story said the incident took place in California, not New Mexico. This has been fixed.

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