A queen bee brought 20,000 of her subjects to the drive-through mail slots at the city's main post office, where they swarmed for six hours before they could be removed.

The queen and her party descended on the mailboxes about 10 a.m. Wednesday, startling early customers, said station manager Randy Vallejos.Employees had a difficult time blocking the eight postal boxes with "Caution buffing" and "wet floor" signs because of the swarming mass, he said.

Enter Jim Baker, owner of General Pest Control in Ogden. Customers were trying to wave away the pollinators to drop off letters when he arrived, he said.

Baker said he immediately determined the fledgling hive being constructed in one of the boxes was worth saving because of its honey and called in two independent beekeepers.

"It's a lot better if they can salvage the hive rather than destroy it," he said. "Because the bees are filled with honey, they're tame and docile and don't sting much. If they get hungry, they'll get grumpy."

Ogden beekeeper Chad Moore said that by the time he arrived someone had sprayed sugar water in the area in an attempt to calm the creatures.

"It was a little bit of a mess. They were settling everywhere," he said.

Moore and another beekeeper spent about two hours treating the bees with smoke to make them docile and rounding them up into a box. They collected about two pounds, or 20,000 bees, he said.