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Thousands of Bees Took Over a Car and Won't Leave

Jun 15, 2017 09:19 PM EDT
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20,000 bees have taken up residence in a woman's car in the UK. Beekeepers are working to remove them safely.

(Photo : Hull Daily Mail)

A swarm of about 20,000 bees decided to take over the back hood of a car in the UK this past Sunday. Thought you should know.

Shirley Taylor came home to find the beginning of a bee hive on her car, reported Science AlertNeighbors from the whole block came over to look at the spectacle, and then called beekeepers to help remove the bees.

Although seeing bees swarm on a car is unusual, the process of swarming is a normal seasonal process that honeybees undergo when their existing colony becomes too large. The queen bee will leave it with a group of worker bees and pick an interim spot to stay at while scout bees look for a new home, which is typically in a tree cavity.

Nevertheless, it's dangerous for the bees to be out in the open while they are waiting and searching for a new nest. They must subsist on whatever honey and nectar they've eaten before leaving the old hive, and if they don't find a new nest in time, they can starve.

As colony collapse disorder is prevalent and bee colonies are being affected by insecticides, the people in the town wanted to save the swarm. The chairman of the local Beverley Beekeeper's Association Chris Coulson was called to figure out how to move the bees. Apparently, they had already started building wax in the car, "because it's the start of building a house," Coulson told the Hull Daily Mail.

To capture a swarm and take it away, beekeepers lure bees with bee larvae and eggs in a large box, which they are attracted to because they want to move in to cover the larvae, protect them and keep them warm. This is what Coulson and the beekeepers are working on, but he said, "We will be working for as long as we can to get the bees out, but it's going to be a long process." He also said the car might be their chosen permanent home.

If they could catch the queen and put her in the box, the process would take considerably less time, as all of the worker bees would follow her.

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