Sudbury: Bee swarm leaves workmen diving for cover

WORKMEN in Sudbury were buzzing after a swarm of honey bees settled in a tree just a few feet from where there were constructing a new road crossing.

One of the crew, Darren Cranmer, called the town council this afternoon to alert them to the insects, which were flying over the workmen’s heads while they were working on a traffic island in King Street.

He said: “We had seen a few coming out of the roof space of the building on the opposite side of the road at the weekend, but we were quite surprised to see so many of them suddenly hanging there in a ball shape under the tree. It gave us a bit of a shock but they weren’t aggressive or anything.”

Suffolk Beekeeper’s Association swarm co-ordinator, Paul White, came to the rescue and managed to gradually entice the 15,000-strong group of bees into a portable hive.

He said: “Colonies grow quickly at this time of year. They stop feeding the queen, and they leave the eggs behind and go out in search of a new home - usually about 300 yards from their old colony. Most of these bees have settled in the tree to rest while scout bees are out looking for a new home.”

Mr White said in this case, the public was in no danger from what he described as a “medium sized” swarm.

He added: “Honey bees are generally not aggressive when they are swarming but we are always a little concerned for the welfare of the bees when they congregate in a public place like this.

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“These will be taken back to my apiary in East Bergholt and given some sugar water to settle them down before I find another bee-keeper who will be happy to re-home them.”

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