Early on Friday, a white van filled with Italian honeybees parked across the street from the Dakota on 72nd and Central Park West, Reuters reports. The van apparently contained 200 boxes, each with 12,000 bees – for an approximate grand total of 2.4 million bees in the neighborhood.
The van was driven by Andrew Coté, who came all the way from Georgia to deliver the boxes. He sold each box for either $159 or $205 (depending on when each beekeeper had placed their order).
In a video by ABC 7, Coté said “it’s fun to work with the bees, you can connect to nature, it’s therapeutic; it’s almost meditative to work with a beehive.”
Coté is the president of the New York City Beekeepers Association and the founder of Andrew’s Honey and non-profit Bees Without Borders. A 2018 article by West Side Spirit indicates that Coté is also an Upper West Sider (by way of Connecticut) and a fourth-generation beekeeper.
Because of “excessive pesticides and chemicals in rural areas,” the city is actually a relatively safe place to keep these noisy pets, and doing so has been a growing trend in recent years.
Beekeeping was legalized in NYC in 2010, and according to the Department of Health, hundreds of hives can be found on NYC rooftops and in gardens.
Here’s a 2012 video featuring Coté in action, who says his bee-obsession “is like crack:”