Bee keeper stings bumbling council

CONCERNED: Bee keeper Steve Ganner
CONCERNED: Bee keeper Steve Ganner
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A bee keeper is buzzing mad about new advice being handed out on bumble bee swarms.

Steve Ganner of Lostock Hall has hit out at South Ribble Council, who’s pest control department has changed its policy and instead of giving out the number of a local beekeeper who is prepared to deal with the problem, now asks people to contact the British Beekeeping Society (BBKA).

But the BBKA’s speciality is the honeybee, and they only attend swarms of that species.

Steve, who has been called out to 300 bumble bee swarms in 30 years, said: “Why on earth are the council giving out a contact number or website address for bumble bee problems when the BBKA have absolutely nothing to do with bumble bees?

“It’s like them telling you to ring the BBKA about a blocked drain.”

He added: “When anyone finally gets through to the BBKA they are told to ring a local beekeeper who also has no interest in bumble bees.

“Yesterday I received a call from a man who had bumble bees in his roof. I was the third beekeeper that the BBKA had given number to. He had been on the phone nearly 40 minutes he told me and was going round in circles.

“He politely told me to “forget it,they’ll be dead in 10 minutes”. He had a fly spray in his cupboard.

“I have tried to set up meetings with the local council officers.They simply tell me it is their new policy.”

A BBUK spokesman said: “Every year we ask councils nationally not to give out our number as we can’t deal with bumble bees.

“People are given expectations we can help and it’s very frustrating for everyone.”

A spokesman for South Ribble Council said: “We always take concerns and ideas on board and reflect on them.

“We invite Mr Ganner to meet with us to dicuss his concerns.”