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Stourbridge buzzing with excitement as bees swarm around bench

Dudley | News | Published:

A busy town centre was buzzing with excitement as a swarm of bees swarmed around the leg of town's benches.

Dozens of passers-by stopped to get a glimpse of the colony of honey bees – believed to be made up of around 15,000 insects – that had attached itself to the leg of a metal bench in Stourbridge.

Soon after the swarm was spotted on the bench, near to the town square's historic clock, expert beekeeper Lee Griffin, the treasurer of Hagley and Stourbridge Beekeepers Association, arrived and quickly set up a cordon around the bees to stop people getting too close.

He said: "I had been in town doing some shopping when I came across the hive. It's not uncommon for bees to swarm. It is part of the hive's life cycle, but it doesn't usually happen in the middle of a busy town and is not something most people would usually notice.

"It has been really interesting to see how many people where interested in the swarm, it's probably something that most people haven't seen before in their life."

Justus Klaar, seasonal bee inspector clears the bench

He said the bees likely belonged to a local keeper who hadn't noticed part of the hive preparing to leave in a swarm, a process in which the old queen leaves the hive and takes around a third of the workers and drones with her.

He said that as long as swarms were not disturbed, there was no danger to the public.

More help was quickly at hand when Justus Klaar, (CORR) the seasonal bee inspector arrived to clear the swarm using traditional methods including a smoker and feather.

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He said there had already been 14 swarms in the Stourbridge area this year and that the swarm would be contained and could be safely taken away to a hive he had already prepared.

One of the first people to find the hive was 54-year-old Gary Cooper from Stourbridge.

He said: "I was sitting there in the morning and when I came back I couldn't believe it.

"I was absolutely astonished to see so many bees in one place, let alone under a bench in the centre of Stourbridge."

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