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Swarm of 45,000 honeybees ‘looking for a new home’ descend on downtown Toronto construction site

A swarm of around 45,000 honeybees descended on a construction site at Toronto’s Union Station Wednesday.

The bees landed on a piece of yellow equipment at the Front Street and York Street area and remained there until pest control specialists showed up just after noon.

When they swarm like that, they’re just looking for a new home,” said Paul Hayden, owner of Bees and Pest Removal in Toronto and a beekeeper for four decades.

In an established hive there may be around 60,000 bees, said Mr. Hayden. When the hive becomes overpopulated, the bees will split and seek out a new location.

Yellow is the color of flowers so it could be quite attractive to them
He said these particular bees might have been attracted to the color of the equipment.

Yellow is the colour of flowers so it could be quite attractive to them,” Mr. Hayden said.

He said the bees likely wouldn’t have started a hive on the equipment and were perhaps using it as a resting place. Bees like to build hives in dark places such as the space between the wall of a house and an eaves trough, he said.

Mr. Hayden suspects the bees may have come from the Fairmont Royal York’s rooftop apiary, located across the street from Union Station.

There are as many as 350,000 honeybees in beehives at the 14th story apiary during the summer peak, according to the hotel’s website.

A spokesperson for the hotel was not available for comment on Wednesday evening.

Mr. Hayden said it is quite rare to see a swarm of bees in downtown Toronto but this is not the first incident he’s heard of.

I removed one [swarm] about four years ago… in the Bloor and Spadina area,” he said. “It was on a fire hydrant.”

Although a swarm of bees might look threatening, “usually when they swarm they’re not aggressive,” said Mr. Hayden.


Everton Graham of Affordable Pest Control, the team that removed the bees from the construction site,...

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