Bees with lasers? Not yet, but there are two beekeeping fractions at war in New York City.
So there’s the New York City Beekeepers — in this story represented by a “Mr. Fische” — and the New York City Beekeepers Association — represented here by “Mr. Coté.”
Mr. Coté and Mr. Fischer had once attended beekeeping functions together. But Mr. Coté had a more ambitious plan for a professional beekeeping association and started his own group in 2008.
Coté and Fischer just had a battle over who was going to save 40,000 bees from a broken branch following hurricane Irene. Whoever “saved” the bees would actually become their owner. It’s a pretty good size hive, about half the size of one operated here in Springfield by a local restaurant.
In the end, the Coté faction (NYCBA) won.
Because Mr. Coté’s group regularly worked with the health department and the New York Police Department’s Emergency Services Unit on such rescues, he was able to secure a police van with a crane, a chain saw, and the services of the Police Department’s resident bee handler.
It’s a really interesting a quick read via the New York Times, and reminds me of a story put out by This American Life about shopping mall Santa Clauses and the feuds those chubby dudes have. When passionate people get involved in offbeat hobbies, their arguments, which we would be like “no big deal” are, in fact, huge deals, and generally hugely entertaining.