Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Don’t panic! How to escape a swarm of bees

Towns in southern England are being beset by noisy hordes of honeybees in search of new homes. Here’s what to do if you get caught by the buzz. Bee happy – unless you’re the beekeeper. “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams,” said Henry David Thoreau, who clearly knew what he was talking about. Swarms of honeybees have appeared in Salisbury, Marlborough and Chichester, and the growing fashion for amateur beekeeping may be to blame. So, are middle-class novices not looking after their hives properly, causing their bees to go rogue? Bee swarms may look terrifying and trigger memories of a certain scene from the film My Girl, but if you are confronted with a buzzing horde don’t panic: bees stuff themselves with honey before they head off, which makes them particularly docile. These are not “attacks”. “You can be very close to a swarm and they won’t sting you. Honeybees aren’t aggressive anyway,” says Webb.
If you spot a swarm, contact your local beekeeper’s association. In the unlikely event that you are stung, Webb recommends antihistamine cream. The Guardian