I do bee-lieve hive got trouble with my buzz-cycle!

A SWARM of bees made itself at home .... on a bicycle basket outside the Co-op store in March yesterday.

Crowds of shoppers gathered to watch the amazing phenomenon, as the bees swarmed in a thick mass the size of a football, clinging to the front of the basket.

Nearby shopkeepers were concerned, including Dobsons manager Carol Key, whose own bicycle was alongside the cycle that had been commandeered by the bees.

Just eight days ago, bees had been seen swarming in tree outside the store. Carol said: “Last week the bees were in the tree and that was not too bad. Today I called Fenland District Council and was given some numbers of bee keepers. I was concerned that the cycle owner might come along and not notice the bees, and get hurt.”

Volunteer at the neighbouring RSPCA shop, Malcolm Jackson, contacted the police about the swarm, and they put him in touch with bee keeper Edward Turner from Doddington, who later collected the bees.

It was around two hours after the swarm was first spotted when Mr Turner, who belongs to Huntingdon Bee Keepers’ Association, managed to get the swarm into a nucleus box, ready to transport to his own apiary

A relieved Mr Jackson said: “I was very concerned about children coming near the swarm after school, if they had sweets with them, the bees might have been attracted to the youngsters.”

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Members of staff from the Co-op had helped the bicycle’s owner get home with her shopping, and later ensured she was reunited with her cycle.

Corinna Gibson, who saw last week’s swarm in the tree, was amazed to see the bees out again. “I was surprised to see them back here so quickly,” she said.

Michael Fox was sitting on a bench when he noticed the bees. He said: “I think there was a queen in there, and they were making a nest. I have never seen anything like it.”

A spokesman from Fenland District Council said: “Bees are not classified as a pest, so they don’t come under our statutory pest control duties. However, we do try and help people concerned about a swarm by putting them in touch with a recognised beekeeper.

“A swarm is usually caused by the male worker bees following the queen; they will usually move on after an hour or so. If they form a nest, a beekeeper will come and collect them.”

For more information and advice, visit the British Beekeepers Association website at http://www.bbka.org.uk/help/do_you_have_a_swarm.php “

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