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Capitol Hill abuzz after 15,000 honey bees swarm Senate entrance

By Ted Barrett, CNN

Updated 8:39 AM ET, Sat June 20, 2015

A swarm of bees took to the main Senate entrance of the U.S. Capitol Building on Friday, frightening onlookers before they were captured.

Washington (CNN)In an unusual sight on Capitol Hill Friday afternoon, beekeepers were called in to capture and remove about 15,000 honey bees that had swarmed around the main Senate entrance of the U.S. Capitol Building, frightening onlookers before landing in a tree.

Three volunteer beekeepers, including one who is a top congressional aide, worked carefully but without protective suits to capture the queen and her thousands of offspring. 

The bees had been out of their nest in search of a new, larger home, according to Rachel Perry of Capitol Bee Care, an organization that works to protect honey bee colonies that, for a variety of reasons, are dying off in large numbers. Wearing just a scarf hanging over her head, Perry sat patiently beneath the tree luring the bees into a hole in a medium-sized cardboard box that was sealed with gaffers tape, gently nudging with a brush the last stragglers inside.