Swarm of 40,000 Bees Cause a Buzz at Grange Road in South Side of Glasgow

Swarm of 40,000 Bees Cause a Buzz at Grange Road in South Side of Glasgow

On Tuesday, people walking on to the Grange Road in south side of Glasgow were amazed to see thousands of honeybees starting to gather right in front of their eyes.

About 40,000 buzzing honeybees from the hive at the Battlefield Rest restaurant swarmed to the car park across the road.

These insects massed on a fence opposite the Battlefield Rest, panicking the passers-by who then preferred to walk on the opposed side of the road to dodge the insects.

The source of the problem was actually the beehives that were installed on the top of restaurant last year to provide fresh honey for customers. Some people thought emergence of a new queen bee, leading to more breeding, might have caused the swarm.

"As soon as people saw it, they were walking on to the road to avoid them," amateur photographer Dave Forrest told STV News.

Forrest, 59, was out for a walk on Grange Road when this incident happened.

"I'm quite afraid of them - when they started to swarm around me I lost my bottle. I've never seen anything like it before." he added.

Warren Bader, an expert beekeeper and chief executive of Plan Bee, was soon called in to remove the bees from the area. Mr. Bader swept the swarm into boxes and said these bees will be shifted to a new hive in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire.

According to him, these insects are at their friendliest during this time of the year.

"There's no rhyme or reason to where they go, they will go wherever they feel comfortable," he told STV News.

"When bees swarm they are very, very gentle. They're loaded up on honey so they can't bend their abdomen well to sting."

"Some people were scared and some were bemused, people were very intrigued by it."

Experts say healthy bee populations are highly important to human health and well-being. Bees are important because they help in pollination of many agricultural crops. The total value of Europe's insect pollinators is estimated at €14.2 billion a year. Many recent studies have, however, revealed that the population of bees in the UK is declining at unprecedented rates. About 42% of the honeybee colonies in the UK collapsed over the past year due to various reasons, one of which is neonicotinoids - a class of toxic pesticides about 6,000 times more toxic than DDT. Neonicotinoids can kill off these insects or disorient them, thus making it difficult for them to search their food and get back to their hives. Considering the significance of bees to our food system and economy, it is important to take immediate steps to ban neonicotinoids and stop hive losses.

In England & Wales, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) have provided funds to set up National Bee Unit. This center for research is conducting Bee Health Programs for beekeepers and other people to increase populations of bees in the country.

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