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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

100 years ago in Spokane: Swarm of bees - you read that right - block downtown traffic

A crowd of onlookers was just as disruptive to downtown traffic as a swarm of bees on May 31, 1921.  (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

A giant swarm of bees blocked traffic at Main Avenue and Stevens Street downtown for hours.

The bees weren’t quite as disruptive as the hundreds of spectators, who gathered at the corner and offered suggestions (some helpful) about how to get rid of the swarm.

“Many brave spectators, summing up their knowledge of bee culture, tried in different ways to get the flying insects to gather into one consolidated mass so they could be removed from the street,” said the Spokane Daily Chronicle.

One spectator “beat gently with a rock” on a large tin can, at the same time holding in his hand a small tree. Some other men approached with a wide-open sheet and endeavored to “persuade the bees to approach this hastily constructed forest.”

As of press time, the bees were unpersuaded.

From the recreation beat: Vacationers planning trips to Bayview, Idaho, were cautioned to beware of thieves in the lakefront town.

Edward Eldridge of Spokane parked his car overnight near the dock. When he arrived the next morning, he could barely recognize his Ford.

“The two front wheels and their tires were gone entirely, and the axle was allowed to drop on the ground,” he said. “My spare tire, tires from the rear wheels, extra spark plugs, inner tubes, jack, pump and target piston were also stolen.”

Two other cars parked nearby suffered a similar fate.

Eldridge had this advice for those planning a trip to Bayview: “Take along a watchman.”