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The bees are paying their respects to Muhammad Ali; no word yet on the butterflies

The Internet is abuzz with puns after a swarm of bees made camp next to a Muhammad Ali memorial. (MGN Online)

Even the bees are devastated by the death of boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

WLKY reports a swarm of bees gathered Sunday at a memorial for "the greatest of all time" under a banner inscribed with Ali's famous taunt -- say it with us now -- "float like a butterfly. Sting like a bee."

Thousands of bees reportedly took up home in a tree near the memorial in Louisville, Kentucky -- Ali's birthplace.

There was some speculation that the bees were installed next to the memorial intentionally. Although that was ruled out by beekeeper Kevin McKinney who was called to remove the swarm.

"It's impossible, this is a totally natural phenomenon," McKinney told WAVE. "You couldn't force a group of bees into a tree."

"They could have landed anywhere, there are plenty of trees in the neighborhood they could have set up shop in," McKinney continued. "They probably landed yesterday afternoon and were resting overnight and I was lucky to catch them this morning."

The irony of the landing spot was not lost on McKinney.

BuzzFeed reports the catchphrase "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" was first coined in October 1974 just before Ali fought George Foreman for the heavyweight championship.



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