A New York City woman had a major bee problem and there was only one man for the job: Tony Bees.
Flushing, Queens resident Mary Jean Dyczko had 40,000 bees living in her house under her bedroom floor near an overhanging roof. She called in retired NYPD bee detective Anthony "Tony Bees" Planakis, who removed the insects on Monday night, according to the Associated Press.
"I'm getting too old for this," Planakis told Gothamist on Tuesday after the successful operation. But the 53-year-old said he's willing to come out of retirement when the city faces a real bee emergency.
It took Planakis more than two hours to removal all of the bees, reported the New York Daily News. The queen bee and the colony were saved and will be relocated upstate with another beekeeper.
“I was scared, definitely, for the past year,” Dyczko told PIX11. “I couldn’t enjoy my backyard. It wasn’t like I could invite people over and hang out with bees.”
Dyczko called Tony Bees last summer, but he waited until now so the bees would survive the winter and could be safely transported away.
Bees may be nuisance inside a home, but their survival is incredibly important. They pollinate many of the fruits and vegetables we eat, but millions of U.S. honey bees have died off in recent years, due to a problem known as colony collapse disorder. Pesticides, an invasive mite, declining biodiversity and other factors have been blamed, but researchers have yet to identify any single key factor behind the problem.
The Obama administration announced a new strategy to promote bee health this week by expanding habitat, among other measures. But environmentalists criticized the president for not going far enough and cracking down on a class of pesticides believed to be a major factor in colony collapse.