Swarm of bees takes over city centre high street

Crowds gathered around Bee Centre staff collecting the queen bee. Photo via The Bee Centre.
Crowds gathered around Bee Centre staff collecting the queen bee. Photo via The Bee Centre.
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Bee experts were called to Fishergate this afternoon (Friday, May 18) after a swarm of bees taking over a tree down the high street.

Experts from the Bee Centre, based at Samlesbury Hall in Preston New Road, got a call from St George's Shopping Centre after members of the public reported the swarm outside Clarks shoe shop.

Kath Cordingley from the centre said: "Some people keep bees on the roof of buildings in the town centre and what seems to have happened is half the colony has swarmed.

Kath explained that swarming is the process by which a new honey bee colony is formed when the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees, leaving the old colony with provisions for a new queen bee of its own.

Kath from Bamber Bridge, said: "It's just a natural process that bees go through."

Kath added that the queen was hiding in a tree down the road and has successfully been put in their portable hive, with the worker bees following.

Bee Centre staff with their portable hive. Photo via The Bee Centre.

Bee Centre staff with their portable hive. Photo via The Bee Centre.

Crowds also gathered with a bit of confusion about what happened.

Kath, who has worked at the Bee Centre for eight years, explained: "The reason it came to a stand still was me climbing up a ladder to bring the queen down."

She said: "They are completely harmless when they swarm because they only swarm when their bellies are full of food.

"This way they can't bend around to sting you.

A swarm of bees down Fishergate.

A swarm of bees down Fishergate.

"There was even one foreign man who didn't speak a word of English picking a bee up off of the floor."

She added: "They are going to be taken away with us to see if they are fit and healthy and will be used for training courses where people can come to learn about it all."

The swarm comes days before World Bee Day on Sunday (May 20), which the Bee Centre are marking with their very own Honey Gin Festival from 10am to 4pm at Samlesbury Hall.

It marks the launch of Cuckoo Sunshine honey gin, crafted in Lancashire by the team at Brindle Distillery, with a bit of help from the Bee Centre's bees.