An Unwanted Buzz Stalks a Hospital

By: CBS News
By: CBS News

A Little Rock Hospital was all "abuzz" Monday, but the buzz shut down the ER for several hours.

Of all the places a bee could land.

"It's rare and I've never hear of it happening anywhere else," says UAMS employee Leslie Taylor.

A colony of 7,000 honeybees decided to make its new home outside the emergency entrance to UAMS.

Hospital employee Ruby Jones says, "Usually, it's nothing but ambulances floating around you know, patients coming in crying, but today we've got another excitement. The bees want to come to the ER today."

Just as the bees congregated, a crowd of people did the same, anxious to see what the buzz was all about.

Jones says, "It looked like 10,000 bees swarming non-stop."

The hospital posted signs and roped off the entrance with caution tape to keep patients out. They also diverted ambulances to other hospitals.

"Next thing you know, everybody started coming with their camera phones, calling the ER asking, you guys OK? You OK? I'm like everything is OK, we just got bees today," explains Jones.

Staff says the insects got more visitors than an average hospital patient, with many being sure to snap a picture before the beekeeper came to take them away.

Harvey Johnston is the handler, suited up and ready to suck the honeybees back into hives. "I've done schools, churches, but never a hospital," he says.

And the question the crowd was dying to know: why did they come?

Jones says, "That is what is interesting. Why they are here?"

Johnston says there's a simple answer.

"When bees get crowded, momma leaves and take a portion of the bees with her," he explains.

So, I guess them waiting in line for some medical attention is probably out of the question.

The ER entrance reopened late Monday afternoon, and even though the bees made for an interesting day around the hospital, the staff says they hope they stay gone.

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