Phew, it's swarm out

Oh Bee-Have: The bee swarm in Romsey

Oh Bee-Have: The bee swarm in Romsey

First published in Romsey Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

IT was the day a Hampshire town was invaded – by a massive swarm of 20,000 bees.

Stunned onlookers described how the air turned black over parts of Romsey when the honeybees flew around residential areas on the lookout for a new home.

Even the police were called as the giant swarm moved south where some settled on homes and the corner of a garage in Anderson Road.

Resident Ian Little, of Footner Close, first spotted them as he drove into his road.

He said: “The air was literally black and it wasn't until I came to a stop that I realised what it was.”

Shocked Mr Little got out of the car and heard an “intense buzz and the slamming of windows”.

Volunteer beekeeper Peter Grimes was called out to deal with the bees, estimated to be between 15,000 and 20,000 in number.

He said they could have come from a hollow tree in woodland, outbuildings or someone’s chimney.

Mr Grimes, a member of the Romsey and District Beekeepers Association, was contacted by police to remove them and he used a protective veil over his face and gloves to move many into a temporary swarm box on the roof. He was watched at a distance by local residents.

Mr Grimes explained that once the queen bee enters a temporary hive, the bees release a pheromone signalling the swarm to follow.

When Mr Grimes returned later, they were all inside and he rehomed them in woodland in Exbury.

Mr Grimes said the bees would have been focused on finding a home and because they were largely female and had no young to defend they would not have been aggressive and dangerous to the public.

He said: “People might have been a bit frightened by the swarm moving around initially because there are lots of insects in the air,” he added.

“But if you stand still the bees would be quite happy to swarm around you and not interfere with you.”

Such swarms occur naturally and are triggered by the bee colony running out of space or a lack of foraging.

The Romsey and District Beekeepers Association deals with around two or three incidents a week in Test Valley during the swarming season between April and August.

Comments (15)

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12:05pm Sat 26 May 12

Huffter says...

Just wondering why Mr Grimes would put a protective veil "over his face and gloves"?
Just wondering why Mr Grimes would put a protective veil "over his face and gloves"? Huffter
  • Score: 0

1:09pm Sat 26 May 12

Georgem says...

Huffter wrote:
Just wondering why Mr Grimes would put a protective veil "over his face and gloves"?
Have you ever been stung in the gloves? It's really painful.
[quote][p][bold]Huffter[/bold] wrote: Just wondering why Mr Grimes would put a protective veil "over his face and gloves"?[/p][/quote]Have you ever been stung in the gloves? It's really painful. Georgem
  • Score: 0

1:57pm Sat 26 May 12

bigfella777 says...

What are the police going to do,issue fixed penalty notices or something
What are the police going to do,issue fixed penalty notices or something bigfella777
  • Score: 0

2:05pm Sat 26 May 12

Shoong says...

Well, if the police's record of moving on pikeys & squatters are anything to go by, these guys ain't going to be buzzing off anytime soon.
Well, if the police's record of moving on pikeys & squatters are anything to go by, these guys ain't going to be buzzing off anytime soon. Shoong
  • Score: 0

3:13pm Sat 26 May 12

Stillness says...

So in reality it's more like bees move home rather than "bees invade". Must be a very quiet day at the office.
So in reality it's more like bees move home rather than "bees invade". Must be a very quiet day at the office. Stillness
  • Score: 0

4:57pm Sat 26 May 12

bazzeroz says...

Bees swarm! It's called nature.
Bees swarm! It's called nature. bazzeroz
  • Score: 0

6:54pm Sat 26 May 12

Georgem says...

bazzeroz wrote:
Bees swarm! It's called nature.
What's your point?
[quote][p][bold]bazzeroz[/bold] wrote: Bees swarm! It's called nature.[/p][/quote]What's your point? Georgem
  • Score: 0

7:43pm Sat 26 May 12

IronLady2010 says...

I'd be in a Hotel if these things came near me. They may well be harmless, but I dislike them.
I'd be in a Hotel if these things came near me. They may well be harmless, but I dislike them. IronLady2010
  • Score: 0

8:05pm Sat 26 May 12

Stillness says...

IronLady2010 wrote:
I'd be in a Hotel if these things came near me. They may well be harmless, but I dislike them.
Sound to me like you have a bee in your bonnet over them.
[quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: I'd be in a Hotel if these things came near me. They may well be harmless, but I dislike them.[/p][/quote]Sound to me like you have a bee in your bonnet over them. Stillness
  • Score: 0

9:40pm Sat 26 May 12

Dresnez says...

Wonderful to see this. We so need the bees to pollinate our crops.

Bees are currently being plagued with a disease that threatens to wipe them out.

Without bees we would have a very serious food crisis. It would be very labour intensive to pollinate crops by hand. So please don't hate them or kill them, they do so much good.

They only sting you as a last resort, because after stinging you they die.

Also remember we steal their honey. Honey has many healing properties. It was used in WW1 to dress open wounds because it is too sweet for bacteria to live in so kept wounds clean and promoted healing.

Antibiotics are losing their potency, honey may yet make a come back. I always take it neat when I have a sore throat, works like magic for me every time.

Love our bees and also our wasps. Even wasps have a purpose although these are nasty in the autumn.
Wonderful to see this. We so need the bees to pollinate our crops. Bees are currently being plagued with a disease that threatens to wipe them out. Without bees we would have a very serious food crisis. It would be very labour intensive to pollinate crops by hand. So please don't hate them or kill them, they do so much good. They only sting you as a last resort, because after stinging you they die. Also remember we steal their honey. Honey has many healing properties. It was used in WW1 to dress open wounds because it is too sweet for bacteria to live in so kept wounds clean and promoted healing. Antibiotics are losing their potency, honey may yet make a come back. I always take it neat when I have a sore throat, works like magic for me every time. Love our bees and also our wasps. Even wasps have a purpose although these are nasty in the autumn. Dresnez
  • Score: 0

11:52pm Sat 26 May 12

freefinker says...

Dresnez wrote:
Wonderful to see this. We so need the bees to pollinate our crops.

Bees are currently being plagued with a disease that threatens to wipe them out.

Without bees we would have a very serious food crisis. It would be very labour intensive to pollinate crops by hand. So please don't hate them or kill them, they do so much good.

They only sting you as a last resort, because after stinging you they die.

Also remember we steal their honey. Honey has many healing properties. It was used in WW1 to dress open wounds because it is too sweet for bacteria to live in so kept wounds clean and promoted healing.

Antibiotics are losing their potency, honey may yet make a come back. I always take it neat when I have a sore throat, works like magic for me every time.

Love our bees and also our wasps. Even wasps have a purpose although these are nasty in the autumn.
Honey.
Surely, exploitation of the workers.
What's southy got to say on this?
[quote][p][bold]Dresnez[/bold] wrote: Wonderful to see this. We so need the bees to pollinate our crops. Bees are currently being plagued with a disease that threatens to wipe them out. Without bees we would have a very serious food crisis. It would be very labour intensive to pollinate crops by hand. So please don't hate them or kill them, they do so much good. They only sting you as a last resort, because after stinging you they die. Also remember we steal their honey. Honey has many healing properties. It was used in WW1 to dress open wounds because it is too sweet for bacteria to live in so kept wounds clean and promoted healing. Antibiotics are losing their potency, honey may yet make a come back. I always take it neat when I have a sore throat, works like magic for me every time. Love our bees and also our wasps. Even wasps have a purpose although these are nasty in the autumn.[/p][/quote]Honey. Surely, exploitation of the workers. What's southy got to say on this? freefinker
  • Score: 0

11:44am Sun 27 May 12

yorkshire-exile says...

Buzz Off
Buzz Off yorkshire-exile
  • Score: 0

11:59am Sun 27 May 12

Stillness says...

yorkshire-exile wrote:
Buzz Off
I have lol.
[quote][p][bold]yorkshire-exile[/bold] wrote: Buzz Off[/p][/quote]I have lol. Stillness
  • Score: 0

12:55pm Sun 27 May 12

bigal007 says...

Shoong wrote:
Well, if the police's record of moving on pikeys & squatters are anything to go by, these guys ain't going to be buzzing off anytime soon.
lol very good
[quote][p][bold]Shoong[/bold] wrote: Well, if the police's record of moving on pikeys & squatters are anything to go by, these guys ain't going to be buzzing off anytime soon.[/p][/quote]lol very good bigal007
  • Score: 0

3:04pm Mon 28 May 12

Beer Monster says...

Aye, bees are cool - it's wasps I hate
Aye, bees are cool - it's wasps I hate Beer Monster
  • Score: 0

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