MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A swarm of more than 12,000 honeybees turned a downtown electronic walk/don't walk sign into a makeshift beehive before the owner of a beekeeping equipment company coaxed the bees into a hive box below the traffic light.
Coincidentally, the bees had camped out Thursday just below the sixth-floor offices of Gary Johnson, the owner of Minnesota Package Bees, who was called on to help capture and remove the bees from the busy intersection.
Decked out head-to-toe in a white bee suit and mask, Johnson carried honeycomb frames up a ladder near the sign. Within minutes, thousands of bees flocked to the frames, while others hovered nearby.
No stings were reported. The bees were so engorged with honey that they couldn't sting, Johnson said.
"I haven't seen anything like this before in my life," said Johnson, who's been in the bee supply business for 35 years. "Usually I find them attached to a tree branch and we put a net around it and cut it down.
Johnson, 57, of Coon Rapids, guessed the bees possibly originated near the Mississippi River and followed their "prolific" queen bee to another spot around sunrise. He had no idea why the bees chose the traffic light.
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