Bees, swarmed on a fire hydrant in NW Washington, DC, were safely removed and relocated to a friendlier environment.

©NBC 4 Washington DC

Hundreds of three-banded Italian bees made themselves a new home Thursday on a lone fire hydrant at 16th and P streets in Northwest, causing a buzz in the neighborhood.

"I work for a wildlife group and we just sent a picture around saying there's a wildlife phenomenon going on outside but I don't understand it, why they're gathered there," said one passerby.

Some people stopped and stared, and some took pictures of the hydrant while others ran for cover.

"Cross the street. Get out of the way. They were swarming all over the sidewalk, and that made me a bit nervous," said one man.

Authorities said an officer on bike patrol was riding by and realized that the bees could pose a threat and called animal control officials.

Beekeeper Laszlo Pentek removed the bees and put them in a box. He said the bees chose the fire hydrant at random.

"This is just a natural tendency of a beehive to reproduce itself," he said.
Pentek is taking the bees to an apiary in a rural area. He said that contrary to popular belief, bees are gentle creatures.

"They only sting in self-defense of themselves or of the queen, and no one bothered the cluster where the queen is, so there was no real risk," Pentek said.

Many people said they did not call the authorities about the bees because they did not want them to be killed. Police said that in any situation like this, people should contact them first and they can notify the proper authorities.