Friday, April 25, 2008

Cloud Of Bees Swarming In 'Tornado Pattern' Chases Diners From Restaurant

DeLAND, Fla. -- A giant cloud of thousands of bees mysteriously appeared and began to swirl in a "tornado pattern" around a Central Florida Mexican restaurant.
Customers at Oxie's restaurant located near Highway 17-92 and Plymouth Avenue in DeLand said they noticed a cloud in the sky and thought it was raining. They then realized, the cloud was a swarm of bees.

"A lot of people said it was bees and ran to their cars," restaurant owner Oxie Ochiana said. "It was scary. I was panicking. I didn't know what to do."

Witnesses said the bees began to swirl like a tornado and menace customers Thursday.

"I looked and it was like a tornado of bees just all around our parking lot, swarming," said restaurant worker Marie Olson.

A crowd formed at a distance to watch the cloud of bees.

"It was crazy," Olson said. "I was shocked. I was surprised to see it. I don't know where they came from, so it was amazing to actually see them like that. It was awesome."

State bee experts said the bees, which were moving from tree to tree, are now resting because they have formed two huge cone-shaped swarms in a tree.

Experts said the bees would likely move out about 24 hours after forming the cones.

However, Ochiana called beekeepers to remove the cones from nearby trees Thursday night.

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