Carol Howarth, a 68-year-old grandmother, was going about with her daily activities, but little did she know she had imprisoned a queen in the back of her car!
Every man must serve their queen with utmost loyalty and this is what happened recently. The only thing that may make it seem amusing in this story or faithfulness and loyalty is that we're talking about a swarm of bees trying to save their queen from the back of a car. According to CNN, a swarm of bees followed their queen bee trapped inside a Mitsubishi Outlander for two days! Carol Howarth, a 68-year-old grandmother, was going about with her daily activities, but little did she know she had imprisoned a queen in the back of her car!
Carol had no idea the bee had gotten into her car when she visited a nature reserve. Much later, when she made a stop at Haverfordwest, West Wales, to go shopping, thousands of bees descended on the car, in search of their queen. Tom Moses, who works as a Pembrokeshire Coast National Park ranger, was driving by when he saw a car with a lot of bees stuck to the rear end.
He took to Facebook to share the encounter in a very punny manner. Bee-rilliant swarmathon! Driving through town noticed this going on outside the Lower Three Crowns and couldn't resist getting involved! (bees need our help and I worried that some idiot would come and pour boiling water over them or something stupid!). Called pembs beekeepers and voila - Roger the beekeeper #1 appeared with a box to put them in and swept some in, then left for a dinner date leaving me backing up Andrew the (rusty) beekeeper #2 (ie watching him and offering encouragement).
At first, bees nicely started going into the box. Stung. Then they started to come out again. Hmmmmm. Had a beer. Stung. Andrew doing a great job, bees in. Stung. Then they were coming out again. Wheres the Queen? In the box, or hiding in the crack between boot and car panel? Stung again. Hmmmmmm. Google. Spoke to Jeremy beekeeper #3 - on Eurostar, but said he'd send help. Andrew bought me another beer (by the way why is it £1.20 a half and £2.50 a pint in that pub?).
A drunk bloke from pub went and swept a load of bees off the car with hand looking for the queen, got stung loads pfffft. Beekeeper #4 (man with no name) turned up with a full suit and Smokey thing, stung again, twice - why do they just go for your head? All under control, so buggered off home before stung again. 3 hours well spent, and avoided painting for a bit! The best thing to happen in Haverfordwest for years - should get a load of hives in Castle Square.... :-) Maybe could become Hiverfordwest?
But, with all this that happened, you'd think it was over. Wrong! The next morning, Carol was mighty surprised to see that the swarm of bees were back! Speaking about the incident on Tuesday to Telegraph, Carol Howarth said she had “never seen anything like it.” Since they were back, she had no choice but to give the beekeeper another call to seek help. They had to get to the bottom of this, once and for all!
"One theory was that the queen was trapped in my car and the swarm were following,” Carol said. "But they couldn't find the queen anywhere so I've no idea if that was right. Apparently, bees can swarm at this time of the year and it is a very strong instinct for them to follow the queen. I still don't really understand why because they couldn't see the queen anywhere. Perhaps they just like the heat of my car."
Roger Burns, of Pembrokeshire Beekeepers, said: "It is possible the queen had been attracted to something in the car - perhaps a sweet or food in the car. The swarm of around 20,000 had followed her and were sat around on the boot of the car. I brought over a cardboard box and carefully brushed them into there as quickly as possible as I was aware it was a big swarm in the middle of the high street," he explained.
"I got about 15 or 20 stings for my trouble. I then left the cardboard box on the roof while we waited for the last few hundred bees to leave the boot but then a gust of wind blew it off and the queen may have fled back to the boot again. I then had to leave and another beekeeper took up the watch however eventually the car owner returned and drove off. I have been beekeeping for 30 years and I have never seen a swarm do that. It is natural for them to follow the queen but it is a strange thing to see and quite surprising to have a car followed for two days. It was quite amusing," concluded the 65-year-old retired beekeeper.