Beachgoers in Cape May, New Jersey, had a close encounter with a swarm of bees and their Queen.
Dean Bloemer, of Cape May, told NBC10 he first noticed several bees swarming around a man’s umbrella on the beach on Perry Street around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. He then saw an entire swarm land on a woman’s towel about 50 feet away from him.
“At that time we turned around and a woman was saying, ‘Oh my goodness, bees are landing on my towel,’” Bloemer said.
Bloemer later found out that the swarm was following the Queen Bee that had landed on the towel. A crowd gathered to watch though they kept their distance.
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"People are going crazy," Wayne Carson said. "And then they all landed on one towel and it looked like a huge beehive on one towel."
About an hour later, Allen Brown, a beekeeper by hobby, arrived and was able to safely capture the Queen and most of the bees.
"Never seen or heard of it on the beach," Brown said.
Brown put the towel and as many of the docile honey bees as possible into a box and brought them to his backyard in West Cape May. There were no reports of anyone being stung.
Brown told NBC10 the bees likely ended up on the beach while looking for a new hive.
"They land there to protect the Queen," he said. "And they're just hanging around the Queen, watching her as they send out scouts in all directions to find a new home."
Brown said the bees already seem to be adapting well to their new environment and beachgoers shouldn't worry about seeing them again.
"I believe they found a home," Brown told NBC10. "Made it easy for them."
Brown said he'll continue to try to collect the bees still lingering around the lifeguard stand at the beach if needed.
Meanwhile, those who witnessed the spectacle are still buzzing about it.
"It was like you thought the locusts were coming except they were bees," Ina Brown told NBC10. "It was one of those odd moments in time in 2020 that you experience only probably once in your lifetime."