Video and photo gallery: Bee swarm gate-crashes Cromer and Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival

Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival. Swarm of bees on the Citron Presse stall. Photo: Steve adams Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival. Swarm of bees on the Citron Presse stall. Photo: Steve adams

Monday, May 19, 2014
7:40 AM

Gate-crashing bees tried to upstage the crustacean superstars on the final day of Cromer and Sheringham’s Crab and Lobster Festival.

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Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival. Photo: Steve AdamsSheringham Crab and Lobster Festival. Photo: Steve Adams

A swarm of about 20,000 honey bees descended on a fresh lemonade stall which was among the outdoor festival attractions in Sheringham yesterday.

Stallholder Shelagh Smith, 56, of Highland Road, Taverham, said: “They seemed to like the yellow of my gazebo.”

By a happy chance, Barry Walker-Moore, also known as “Barry the Bee”, was manning a festival stall about bee-keeping one street
away and noticed the swarm overhead.

Mr Walker-Moore, 68, of Henry Blogg Road, Cromer, put on his bee-keeper’s suit, grabbed a box which he placed over the bees and later shook them into a wooden bee box.

BIRD'S EYE VIEW: A view of the festival stalls on Evington Lawns, Cromer.  Picture: ANDREAS YIASIMIBIRD'S EYE VIEW: A view of the festival stalls on Evington Lawns, Cromer. Picture: ANDREAS YIASIMI

He believes they had followed an old queen bee – who was making way for a new queen to hatch – out of a colony somewhere in Sheringham and were looking for a new home.

Luckily the bees were not aggressive and, despite a large crowd gathering to watch, Mr Walker-Moore was the only person to be stung, when he accidentally trapped a bee.

The drama was added entertainment for the large crowds who filled Cromer on Saturday and Sheringham yesterday to enjoy a range of festival activities including seafood cookery and crab-dressing demonstrations, seafaring crafts, live music, morris and step dancing, and an aquarium full of live crabs and lobster. This year’s fifth festival included a new paella night with the classic Spanish dish cooked in a giant pan by Cromer’s Grove Restaurant executive chef Charlie Hodson.

Festival chairman Tony Shipp said all 200 portions had sold out in 20 minutes and they would be making extra next year.

The festival began on Friday evening with a sell-out concert of music, dance and comedy in Cromer’s Pier Pavilion Theatre.

“It’s been an absolutely brilliant weekend,” said Mr Shipp. “The idea is to promote both towns and their crab and lobster industries which are very important – and we have done that.”

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