‘The riot control bees are in their holding yard waiting to clear the streets of Janesville and keep peace to this county.’
As the protests that have flared throughout America came to Janesville, Wisconsin, this week, so did what one man dubbed his “riot control bees.”
On Sunday, over 100 people gathered in Janesville to hold a demonstration protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, according to the Gazette Extra.
The march came after a Saturday night that saw cities across the nation marred by rioting that began in Minneapolis when protests over Floyd’s death morphed into rampages of arson and looting.
As the city readied itself for every eventuality, beekeeper Greg Hoeft had his own idea about ensuring the safety of the community.
Hoeft shared his plans in a since-deleted Facebook post.
“The riot control bees are in their holding yard waiting to clear the streets of Janesville and keep peace to this county. I’m willing to bring them in and kick them over if things get out of control,” the Gazette Extra quoted Hoeft’s post as saying.
As a result, Hoeft joined those ready to support the police with 12 boxes of bees on a trailer that he towed into a parking lot, just in case they were needed.
Do bees and protests mix?Yes No
After police learned that Hoeft was ready to unleash bees on the protest, he was asked to leave, and did so, Janesville Police Department Sgt. Dean Sukus told the Gazette Extra.
While there were also some civilians who came armed and ready to keep the peace if police needed help, Sukus said the department had “things under control here.”
The protest did not devolve into violence.
Erik Vazquez, a youth advocate at Franklin Middle School, said the protest was not about dividing Janesville.
“Even though we don’t see as many bad things [in Janesville], it’s important for us to stand up for the other cities,” Vazquez told the Gazette Extra. “Our city can be an example of what it is to actually be a community helping each other, a community working with the police rather than fearing them.”
The protest was organized by the Rock Valley Fellowship of Reconciliation, which stages weekly peace vigils in Janesville.
Hoeft’s concept drew the attention of Tyler O’Neil, writing on PJ Media.
“Given the shameful way in which so many police have abandoned their posts in the riots, it seems quite fitting a pseudo-vigilante like Greg Hoeft would come prepared with his ‘riot control bees,’” O’Neil wrote.
“Who knows? Perhaps the National Guard should learn from Hoeft’s example. Beestings tend to be far less deadly than bullets (for those who aren’t allergic), but the pesky little buzzers are truly terrifying. ‘Riot control bees’ may prove an excellent deterrent to looting and rioting,” he wrote.
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