July 22nd 2019

Buzz Off! A swarm of bees are moved to a new home

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Martyn pulling the honeycombs out of the building

Last year we discovered a feral colony of honey bees in the original wooden building at 126 (City of Derby) Squadron’s headquarters in Alvaston.

These were carefully re-homed and our Estates team were absolutely buzzing that they found a way to solve the problem without eliminating the bees but now bees have returned to the hut in Derby. 

The Bees were hidden behind the wooden panels

The Bees were hidden behind the wooden panels

Over the last couple of months the number of dead bees being discovered has slowly increased so the Estates Team called their expert back to rehome this new colony.

Martyn Belcher, who works for ABM Pest Control explained: “An early noticed colony such as the one removed had no less than 2000 bees, however food availability will allow most feral colonies to reach 15,000 bees.

“To rehome bees to a purpose made void extends the health and wellbeing of the colony allowing management and treatments for disease which every feral colony needs. The lack of treatment eventually wipes out the colony then foraging bees come to steal the available stores passing on any disease to the next colonies.”

Bees along with other insects play a vital part in our planet’s eco-system, they are the pollinators that allow flowers to grow, they recycle waste and they provide food to other animals in the food chain. 

The Bees and the honeycomb had to be removed

The Bees and the honeycomb had to be removed

Martin Capewell, Head of Estates at East Midlands RFCA, added: “We will always try and rehome wildlife when it interferes with the important activities at our sites. Here the Cadets needed the building for storage so unfortunately the bees had to go.”

Rehoming is the process of removing and saving the wax foundation, moving it to a purpose built site where a beekeeper can maintain and manage the colony before adding fresh eggs, pollen and nectar to ensure its future survival.