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Almost 30,000 bees killed after strong winds see tree crush hive near Norwich

PUBLISHED: 18:59 19 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:05 20 January 2018

A beekeeper has lost almost 30,000 bees after a tree - toppled by this week’s strong winds - crushed a hive. Photo: Simon Greenwood

A beekeeper has lost almost 30,000 bees after a tree - toppled by this week’s strong winds - crushed a hive. Photo: Simon Greenwood

A beekeeper has lost almost 30,000 bees after a tree - toppled by this week’s strong winds - crushed a hive.

Beekeeper Simon Greenwood with one of his hives he has left after thieves stole hives, with thousands of bees and hundreds of pounds worth of honey. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYBeekeeper Simon Greenwood with one of his hives he has left after thieves stole hives, with thousands of bees and hundreds of pounds worth of honey. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Simon Greenwood keeps hives across several sites in Norfolk, and received a call from one landowner just west of Norwich to say a tree had blown over near two hives on Thursday morning.

They quickly realised one had been completely destroyed by the tree, with 90pc of the bees in the hive - which, at this time of year, would have been home to between 20,000 and 30,000 - killed.

The blow comes just months after Mr Greenwood had 60,000 bees stolen from one of his sites last September.

Speaking about the latest incident, he said: “There were two hives on that site and one was just slightly nudged by tree, which was lucky.

A beekeeper has lost almost 30,000 bees after a tree - toppled by this week’s strong winds - crushed a hive. Photo: Simon GreenwoodA beekeeper has lost almost 30,000 bees after a tree - toppled by this week’s strong winds - crushed a hive. Photo: Simon Greenwood

“But the other was completely flattened, and 90pc of the bees had died.

“The tree must have been the best part of 100 feet tall and the roots were about eight feet from the hive.”

He said it was sad news, and that, while it wouldn’t significantly damage business, it was “another blow” after a difficult few months.

A beekeeper has lost almost 30,000 bees after a tree - toppled by this week’s strong winds - crushed a hive. Photo: Simon GreenwoodA beekeeper has lost almost 30,000 bees after a tree - toppled by this week’s strong winds - crushed a hive. Photo: Simon Greenwood

MORE: Up to 60,000 bees stolen as thieves raid Haveringland farm

“The incident last year did hit me hard,” he said. “I did think ‘is it all worth it’, but decided to carry on.

“So this isn’t as bad as that - but it’s still not very nice to see.”

Beekeeper Simon Greenwood's bees, including the queen, marked with a yellow dot, he still has left after thieves stole hives, with thousands of bees and hundreds of pounds worth of honey. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYBeekeeper Simon Greenwood's bees, including the queen, marked with a yellow dot, he still has left after thieves stole hives, with thousands of bees and hundreds of pounds worth of honey. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

He said the damaged hive would be replaced.

Last year’s theft saw five hives, thought to contain between 50,000 and 60,000 bees, stolen from one site. It equated to roughly £600 worth of honey.

Police were called to investigate the incident, but no-one has been arrested.

MORE: 49,000 homes without power and trees blown over as 80mph guests hit region

The winds caused havoc across Norfolk overnight on Wednesday and into Thursday morning, with police receiving more than 850 calls and officers sent out to 35 locations around the county.

More than 30 schools were closed, almost 50,000 homes left without power and 83mph winds recorded - the strongest in the region for five years.

Several trees were brought down, blocking roads and, in one case, narrowly avoiding crashing into a house.

Do you have a story we should be writing about? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk


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