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Bees Swarm Times Square Hot-Dog Stand



bees swarm

Thousands of bees swarmed part of Times Square on Tuesday afternoon, sending tourists and passers-by scrambling before the bees settled on the cart of a very unhappy hot-dog vendor at 43rd Street and Broadway.

The mass of insects was so dense it weighed down sections of the stand’s umbrella. The vendor, visibly agitated, had nothing to say about the visitation of Apis mellifera.

The incident lasted all of an hour before the New York Police Department’s own beekeeping team vacuumed up the horde of honeybees and took them safely to a new location. In their brief brush with fame, the bees attracted hundreds of onlookers and inspired some embarrassingly bad jokes by police officers.

“Bee good!” an officer called out to a reporter. It was the third bee swarm the officer said he had seen in the last year.
Walid Elfaramawy, 38, who for 10 years has worked at a food stand opposite where the bees alighted, said he had never seen anything like Tuesday’s swarm in Times Square. It started at a construction site at 43rd Street and Broadway, he said, and made its way to the umbrella.
The man of the hour was Officer Michael Lauriano, one of the Police Department’s beekeepers, who sucked up the insects with a large vacuum cleaner as a crowd of tourists craned their necks to see.

The swarm briefly captivated Twitter in New York City, but such incidents are common enough that the Police Department keeps beekeepers on hand, who have their own verified Twitter page.
Andrew Coté, a Midtown beekeeper who was watching the hubbub, estimated the swarm had as many as 15,000 to 20,000 bees. “You have to count the legs and divide by six,” he joked.

In most cases, Mr. Coté said, the swarms come from beehives that some New Yorkers keep on the rooftops of buildings.

“There are beehives within one block of here. In fact, there are at least a dozen hives within a block of here,” Mr. Coté said.

Beekeeping in the city is not an uncommon pastime. An entire organization, The New York City Beekeeper’s Association, keeps track of beekeepers, who are legally required to register their hives.
As bee populations struggle globally, urban beekeeping is on the rise. Midtown hotels use the colonies to produce honey for cocktails, and hives help pollinate the city’s parks. It’s normal for the bees to travel, sometimes up to three miles, from their homes to keep the city’s green spaces green.

“They haven’t escaped, because they’re free to go,” Mr. Coté said of the bees. “They’re free range.”
Incidents like Tuesday’s are often blamed on sloppy beekeeping, Mr. Coté said. But holding inept beekeepers accountable for swarms is all but impossible, he added.

Swarms are usually limited to the spring months. But a rash of unseasonably warm weather may have inspired the queen bee to abandon her hive and take thousands of her worker bees with her, Mr. Coté said.

“I think they wanted a hot dog,” he said.


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9-year-old genius to graduate university




Laurent Simons

(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.

Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.

Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.

He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.

His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.

“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.

Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.

While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.

But Lydia has her own theory.

“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.

The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.

“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.

“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”

Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.

“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”

Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”

His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.

“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.

“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”

While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.

“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”

Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.

However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.

In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.

Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.

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New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne




Lena Horne

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem




Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.

The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.

Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.

Father and son were both knocked through a gate.

The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.

One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.

McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.

McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.

Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.


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