Hive & Seek: 12,000 To 15,000 Bees Have House-Swarming Party In Downtown Ridgewood

Tens of thousands of honeybees had a hive-swarming party that temporarily closed a stretch of downtown Ridgewood on Monday.

Frank Mortimer is the bees' knees when it comes to harvesting a hive.
Frank Mortimer is the bees' knees when it comes to harvesting a hive. Photo Credit: Boyd A. Loving for DAILY VOICE

It wasn't immediately clear what brought the colony to the tree in front of the Starbucks on East Ridgewood Avenue. Perhaps there was a promise of more honey and shorter working flowers.

Village police summoned Frank Mortimer, a local beekeeper who recommended that the colony be removed from their perch 30 feet up a tree.

Firefighters brought a ladder truck to hoist Mortimer, who needed roughly a half hour to neutralize the threat.

An unprotected firefighter who accompanied him had to retreat, however, after being stung more than a dozen times.

Mortimer's wife, Sophie, and his daughter, Svea, assisted him once the bees were safely contained.

Some of the hive-talking spectators waxed poetic while others droned on.

Meanwhile, Mortimer, who reportedly had plans to relocate the pollinators to a secure location in Glen Rock, clearly relished the task.

After all, beauty is in the eye of the bee holder.

Boyd A. Loving took the photos and contributed to this story.

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