Millions of bees seized from Queens man
Officials in New York have seized approximately 3 million bees living in hives in one man’s backyard. The bees were found in Queens at the home of Yi Gen Chen, who was keeping them in 45 hives behind his home.
The New York City Beekeepers Association helped seize the bees, much to the relief of Chen’s neighbors.
“All rules of good urban beekeeping and of common sense have been ignored here,” New York City Beekeepers Association President Andrew Cote told the New York Daily News. “I thought I’ve seen it all in urban beekeeping, and this surprised me.”
The bees were found to be in very poor health, which was attributed to Yi Gen Chen taking all the honey from the hives and not allowing the bees enough to eat to continue producing more honey and sustaining a healthy life.
The hives and all bees were taken by the authorities, and it is as yet unclear about whether or not the man will face any charges.
The amateur beekeeper defended himself by saying that his hobby started with just a couple of hives a few years ago but quickly got out of hand as the bees continued to multiply and eventually started swarming in the neighborhood.
“I keep the bees like a dog or a pet,” he told the paper.
Chen’s neighbor, Louie Socci complained about the bees to the city but it never took action.
“You never seen anything like it in your life,” Socci, 58, said, estimating that “a big swarm of a couple million bees” would envelop his block on 111th Street in the morning.
Socci told the paper that Chen is “nuts.”
“I called the city once and they didn’t do anything,” said Socci.
While beekeeping is legal in New York City, owners need to register with the city, or face fines.
“I think he violated a lot of common sense doctrine. He was a bad steward to the bees,” Andrew Corte, president of the New York City Beeekeepers Association, told ABC News.