-- Capitol Hill had a hive mentality today -- literally!
Thousands of runaway bees on the north side of the Capitol busted out of their hive and began swarming around a tree. The problem was so severe that the Capitol had to call in beekeepers -- one of whom is actually a staffer in the House of Representatives.
Capitol Police put yellow tape around the area where the bees were most concentrated, and the beekeepers got to work. Using a small cardboard box, they first trapped the queen bee, which prompted all of her “subjects” to follow her into the box.
One of the beekeepers they called in was Cynthia Martin, the Chief of Staff to Rep. John Conyers of Michigan. A longtime bee hobbyist, this was the first time she got to assist in a trap-and-release on the Hill.
Once the majority had been trapped in the box, the keepers put them in Martin’s car, and the hive sped off to their new home.
There were still hundreds of bees who didn’t get in the box, who one of the beekeepers, from Capitol Bee CARE, said will eventually make their way back to the original hive, and rebuild the colony.
The bees were honeybees, which are very docile unless they feel threatened. Tourists and reporters stopped to take pictures but the bees went about their business – just like lawmakers on the House and Senate floor.