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Huge swarm of endangered bees make step ladder their home

PUBLISHED: 15:14 05 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:47 05 July 2019

Downham group CGM were called in to remove  the 15,000 honey bees swarm from the stepladder

Downham group CGM were called in to remove the 15,000 honey bees swarm from the stepladder

Archant

A Norfolk landscaping company was called out to tackle a swarm of endangered bees that had made a stepladder its home.

Downham group CGM were called in to remove  the 15,000 Honey Bees SwarmDownham group CGM were called in to remove the 15,000 Honey Bees Swarm

A Norfolk landscaping company was called out to tackle a colony of endangered bees that had made a stepladder its home.

The CGM group from Downham Market went out to deal with a 15,000-strong swarm at a business near King's Lynn.

The bees attached themselves to a step ladder and had grown into the size of a rugby ball.

It is thought the bees chose the stepladder for nesting after growing tired of flying. They have since been captured and adopted by local bee keeper, Barry Thrower.

Graham Masters from the environmental services at CGM group said: "Bees swarm when the hive grows too big. If they grow tired whilst flying they will find a resting place and wait for the queen to fly again.
"We moved most of the bees into a cardboard box. The queen is usually twice the size of the drones and we knew we had the queen when the other drones followed her into the box.

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"Luckily a local bee keeper was a few minutes away by car so the bees didn't have to stay long in the box.

"Our pest control team love bees so we always try to rehome them. Bees are an important part of the ecosystem so we all should look after them.

"Sometimes they swarm in strange places, like a step ladder, which isn't convenient so they need to be moved."

Mr Thrower, who owns 15 hives and has been a bee keeper for 12 years, will care for the swarm.

He said: "It's that time of the year when these bees swarm when the weather gets really nice.

"It's difficult because they can get into chimneys and walls and there is not much that we can do once they get into buildings. But CGM did a great job of getting them and transporting them safely to me.

"This particular breed of bees are very much endangered, they will be treated and fed up to get them ready for next year when they will be able to produce honey."

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