Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov's 'Flight of the Bumblebees' audio courtesy U.S. Army Band
Story by Scott T. Smith / CBS12 News
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A CBS12 News crew was attacked by hundreds of furious residents upset by the otherwisemuch-anticipated demolition of the Palm Beach Mall Thursday morning.
Our crew is nursing their wounds, still "stung" by the angry reaction.
It all started when CBS12 News operations manager Carl Pugliese launched a drone camera to get an aerial shot of a backhoe taking the old Sears apart. The drone is a large dinner-plate sized device with four helicopter-like rotors and two cameras, all operated by remote control via iPhone or iPad.
About a minute into the flight, you can see the assault begin. First one attacker zips by the camera. Then another. Then the whole swarm.
Pugliese said the drone began having trouble flying, but he wasn't sure why. At the same time, he says a "strange bug" kept pestering him, getting in his hair and buzzing him. Meanwhile, Pugliese was able to maneuver the drone closer so he could see what was wrong with it. Bad move.
Angry bees became a cloud around the drone and also began attacking Pugliese and CBS12 cameraman Chad Ellison, whom Pugliese captured dancing and swatting frantically to avoid being stung. Didn't help. Both of them took several stings. Pugliese himself can be seen toward the end of the drone video, diving into his SUV to avoid the swarm. Unfortunately for him some tagged along inside, and he is seen trying to fling them out. He landed the drone from inside the car.
The drone took several stings as well, with the stingers still embedded in its foam fuselage. The whole thing was covered in what Pugliese termed "bee goo."
It was CBS12 reporter Jenna Caiazzo's first reporting gig for the station, having just arrived from Charlotte. Some welcome! She wasn't stung, safe the whole time inside the station's live truck She made herself scarce early in the drama because she's believes she's allergic to bee stings.
Caiazzo says the bees were still buzzing around just before she went live with her report for the noon news, but "magically disappeared" when she went on air.