Peterborough nature reserve forced to close thanks to bee swarm

bee swarm at Woodston Ponds by Dan Richardson

bee swarm at Woodston Ponds by Dan Richardson

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A Peterborough nature reserve has been closed after a large swarm of bees made their home on a tree.

Thousands of honey bees have formed a ball-like swarm at Woodston Ponds in Peterborough today.

The bees swarm in Ivatt Way. Pic: Sean Reddington

The bees swarm in Ivatt Way. Pic: Sean Reddington

It is thought the bees are the same as the ones which swarmed in Ivatt Way yesterday.

The nature reserve, which is looked after by the Wildlife Trust, has been closed as a result.

Senior Reserves Officer for Peterborough Dan Richardson said: “The reserve will be closed until Monday to leave the bees in peace and for public safety. We don’t plan to take any other action.”

Thousands of the insects were seen in Ivatt Way, Westwood at about 1pm yesterday.

I’m just glad I was in the car at the time - there is no way I would want to be stuck outside with them

Sean Reddington

Sean Reddington (31), an MOT tester at Car World, was left trapped in a vehicle when the insects swarmed.

He said: “I was bringing a car to the workshop, when I saw one or two bees.

“The next thing I know there were thousands of them.

“I just stayed in the car. I have never seen anything like it.

The bees swarm in Ivatt Way. Pic: Sean Reddington

The bees swarm in Ivatt Way. Pic: Sean Reddington

“There were a couple of salesman coming over, but I think they thought better of it when they saw the swarm.

“I don’t know where the bees came from, and they were gone in 10 minutes, and I don’t know where they went. They didn’t seem to all go in one direction.

“I’m just glad I was in the car at the time - there is no way I would want to be stuck outside with them.”

A spokesman for Peterborough based insect charity Buglife said the best thing for people to do if they see swarming bees is to leave them well alone.

The bees swarm in Ivatt Way. Pic: Sean Reddington

The bees swarm in Ivatt Way. Pic: Sean Reddington

He said: “The swarms are caused when hives become overcrowded and the queen leaves with half of the worker bees to form a new colony.

“They turn up everywhere from shop fronts, sheds, trees and even a recent case on a high street bollard- either for a temporary stop off or to start up a new nest. This is perfectly natural but there have been a lot of people reporting swarms this year.

“It has been suggested that the rise in swarms is due to a rise in amateur urban beekeepers, as it is becoming more popular, bringing swarms closer to communities than before. Alongside this, a lot of new beekeepers might still be learning the ropes in terms of husbandry so letting their bees colonies become overcrowded, causing them to swarm.”

A free open day at Woodston Ponds, located off the Woodston Reach footpath, will take place on Saturday, July 18 between 11am and 3pm.

The bee swarm at Woodston Ponds by Adam Chamberlain

The bee swarm at Woodston Ponds by Adam Chamberlain