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Bees swarm into Alaska neighborhood

EAGLE RIVER, Alaska, July 4 (UPI) -- Thousands of bees swarmed into an Alaska neighborhood this week, and a local beekeeper said they were looking for a place to plant a new colony.

Beekeeper Tom Elliott of Peters Creek, showed up in Eagle River outside Anchorage with a hive. A few of the bees, scouts, explored the box and then the rest of the swarm followed, The Anchorage Daily News reported.

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Jessica Mathis said she was terrified when the bees flew into her yard Wednesday evening. They eventually found a small tree in her neighbor's yard and landed on the trunk in a pile that was 2 feet long and 6 inches around.

"I didn't know what was going on," she said. "I'm so scared of bees."

Elliott said that in warmer places than Alaska bees typically multiply by swarming. An old queen leaves a colony with about half the bees and finds a hollow tree or other suitable place.

Bees in Alaska cannot survive the winters on their own and Elliott said the swarm in Eagle River probably came from another beekeeper.

He planned to give the hive of bees to a friend who is having trouble with his current hive.

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