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Spring Surprise: 50,000 Honeybees Discovered In New Jersey Apartment Building

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – It's not something you see every day – 50,000 honeybees hiding in the outdoor molding of a New Jersey apartment building.

Boxes and boxes of honeybees are finally down from the top of a four-story building in Jersey City – all thanks to Mickey the beekeeper.

"This is the biggest spring natural colony I've ever seen," Mickey said. "I just can't believe this."

(Credit: CBS2)

Mickey is a third-generation beekeeper. The building manager called him here after a swarm swooped into a bush out front.

"You could see a lot of bees flying around the opening there," he told CBS2's Ali Bauman.

So Mickey went up on his cherry picker Thursday and tore open the copper medal molding. That's where he found a six-foot hive inside.

jersey bees
(Credit: CBS2)

"The comb that was in there was at least a couple years old… This colony could've been there for two, three years."

For six hours he carefully cracked at the combs, getting stung on his arms and his ear, until finally finding the queen bee so he could take the whole colony to a farm.

"It's very slow tedious work. You have to make sure you get each piece out, I mean we're trying to save the bees here."

"I'm lucky I didn't get stung or anything," resident Nadir Zouak said.

"I hope they don't come back, but I like to see that kind of thing," the building's super, Morales Martinez added.

Mickey says spring is "swarm season" and honeybees like to come out on the first few warm days right after there's been a lot of rain.

"There will be swarms all over the city now from hives that hived over winter in buildings or trees," Mickey warned.

There is one bonus to the discovery: honey. The bees made about 60 pounds of it in their Jersey City hideout.

Mickey says if your home has a hive, call a professional.

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