Porsche “bee-jacked” – Swarm in a Porsche

05 Apr

Bee Movie A designer from Porsche designed the car driven by Montgomery, the windbag attorney. Driver, have no fear! Unlike Barry B. Benson, bees cannot actually pass through a car’s air-conditioning unit it’s a system sealed to the outside, with the exception of air intake, which is brought in through a filter. But that doesn’t mean a crafty bee can’t find its way in through your windows!!

No… really! This is not about a Bee Movie here…this is a true story that happened in Pleasanton, California!

A crime first: Pleasanton woman’s vehicle “bee-jacked”

“They have also had a few cases of bees found in cars in the past three to four years, but the numbers were in the hundreds — nothing like the thousands found in the woman’s Porsche”

PLEASANTON, CA Contra Costa Times

Mark Sherrill has dealt with his share of bee calls. But when a customer phoned in two weeks ago to report that several thousand of the insects had “bee-jacked” her vehicle, the Livermore Clark Pest Control supervisor was taken aback.

“We’ve never heard of a situation like that,” he said.

The driver had been running errands in downtown Pleasanton when she returned to find bees buzzing around her car. She decided to wait them out, and they seemed to have disappeared when she returned about 2:30 p.m.

The driver hopped in her car, picked up her kids from school, and went about her errands.

As she was dropping off one of her sons, he spotted the bees and tried to tell her, but the driver, who doesn’t want to be identified, said she thought he had seen some outside the car and didn’t think anything of it.

It wasn’t until her other child in the car sounded the “bee” alarm about 4 p.m. that she pulled over at Stoneridge Drive and Hopyard Road. She found the insects tucked into a tight bunch in the hatchback of her car.

The quick-thinking mom spotted a flower shop and went there for help. She then called Clark Pest Control.

The driver said she didn’t really panic. “I was more in the mode of ‘OK, what do I do with this?’ ” she said.

She pulled out her phone and took a photo of the situation to send the pest control company because it was hard to describe where the bees were clumped. They had sneaked inside and curled up in the hatchback hinge area.

A Pleasanton woman’s Porsche was taken over by thousands of bees that she unwittingly chauffeuredaround for hours while picking up her kids from school and ran errands. (Courtesy)

Sherrill told the driver they didn’t have a product to treat the inside of a car. Even if they did, Sherrill said he wanted to try to save the bees because of the insects’ role in California’s agriculture.

“We really want to do the best we can to protect and harvest bees,” said Sherrill, who called a beekeeper, who used a special vacuum to suck them up unharmed before taking them away.


Beemaster’s International Beekeeping Forums

Title: Swarm in a Porsche 3/22/11
Post by: Pink Cow on March 23, 2011, 02:37:25 PM

My strangest location yet, but with only one year of experience I’m sure I’ll see stranger in the future. 

Got a call yesterday from a pest control guy that gives me his swarm calls and he said he just had a call from a woman who had a swarm in her Porsche. She had been shopping and came out of a store onto a street with a full-out swarm going on. She went back inside and came back in 30 minutes and was able to easily get to her SUV and drive off. Turns out she apparently took a small part of the swarm with her and didn’t know it until more than an hour later when her son opened the back hatch to get something. It’s always my last resort but I decided I had to use the Vac on this one, given the circumstances. It took just a few minutes and hours later the bees seemed vital and active so I’m hoping most survived the ordeal. Man, I hate using that thing!

The woman was a great sport and aside from the time lost, really thought it was kind of funny. She kept asking, “Why me?”, “Why would they go into a car?”. Not a lot of bees, and I have no idea if there is a queen, but I pocketed a quick $50 for my trouble, so I can’t complain. Seems like it could be a busy season! This was number four in the last two weeks and it’s cold and rainy here.

Title: Re: Swarm in a Porsche 3/22/11
Post by: hardwood on March 23, 2011, 02:59:04 PM

She drives a Porsche and you only charged her $50??? 😀 

Good job…I hope you got her majesty!


Title: Re: Swarm in a Porsche 3/22/11
Post by: montauk170 on March 23, 2011, 03:17:15 PM

Sweet! Bees have good taste for high-end cars. Looks like a Cayenne. =) 

BTW, where in East Bay are you? I got a call from a lady in Alamo, out of my area, so maybe I can pass those bee removal calls to you on the East side.

Title: Re: Swarm in a Porsche 3/22/11
Post by: Pink Cow on March 23, 2011, 08:04:04 PM

Yep, Cayenne. Pretty well kid-worn inside but the bees didn’t seem to mind. I’ve retrieved two swarms from Alamo this year. I’m in San Ramon so it’s just 15 minutes for me. I’ll PM you with details.

Title: Re: Swarm in a Porsche 3/22/11
Post by: AllenF on March 23, 2011, 08:28:24 PM

How far/ fast did she drive?   Just wonder how many / what percentage of the bees did she lose?  Funny story.

Title: Re: Swarm in a Porsche 3/22/11
Post by: schawee on March 23, 2011, 11:30:14 PM

great catch,    schawee

Title: Re: Swarm in a Porsche 3/22/11
Post by: annette on March 24, 2011, 12:22:47 AM

The bay area is hopping now it seems, for swarms. Great story. 

Title: Re: Swarm in a Porsche 3/22/11
Post by: Pink Cow on March 25, 2011, 11:28:50 AM

She told me she was driving around town for well over an hour before they found the bees. I think she took just a small part of the swarm because she said when she first saw it, there was still a cloud of bees in the air and a lot more on her car than what I retrieved. I have a feeling the swarm had chosen a tree or something and were leaving her car so she drove off with those that didn’t get out in time.


According to information on bee biology from the UC Davis website, bees swarm to expand their population. About half the bees leave their former home and seek a new nest. This phenomenon mostly happens during the spring.

A few worker bees scout for a new home while the rest cluster at a temporary place until a suitable location is found. The bees are not defensive unless provoked because they are not protecting young, which they would be in a hive.

Katie Watkins, operation manager for Performance Pest Management in Pleasanton, said her company has dealt with ground hives and bees found in attics and on roofs. She said they had a recent case in San Leandro where a nest was found underneath a kitchen sink. They have also had a few cases of bees found in cars in the past three to four years, but the numbers were in the hundreds — nothing like the thousands found in the woman’s Porsche.

Credits to: By Sophia Kazmi, crime and city government reporter, at Contra Costa Times

Follow her at
Contra Costa Times


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One response to “Porsche “bee-jacked” – Swarm in a Porsche

  1. T.Marc Jones

    April 6, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Behive Porsche! I love it!



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