LAS CRUCES — A Las Cruces firefighter who is also a beekeeper is credited with safely removing a swarm of bees found inside a parked car.

City of Las Cruces spokesman Dan Trujillo says the incident occurred Sunday shortly after 4 p.m. outside an Albertsons supermarket.

A shopper had put his groceries in his car and was about to drive when he spotted the swarm in the backseat.

Firefighters were called and secured the area. Trujillo says crews decided to call on Jesse Johnson, an off-duty firefighter with beekeeping experience.

Johnson arrived with proper beekeeping attire as well as tools and was able to remove the bees. The whole process took about two hours.

They were transported to Johnson's own property, which is outside city limits. Trujillo says the swarm is estimated to be comprised of 15,000 bees.

Fire officials say a store security guard was stung but no other injuries were reported.

Trujillo says the Las Cruces Fire Department does not normally remove bee swarms. But they thought calling Johnson was the quickest course of action given the amount of traffic in the area.

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