A large colony of black bees that had made their hive near the top of a tree at Penn Hill in Yeovil had to be saved by staff at South Somerset District Council after a large limb of the tree had fallen off and disturbed the hive.
A member of the public reported to the Somerset Beekeepers’ Association that a large nest of what they thought to be ordinary bees had been exposed after they noticed the limb of an oak tree had fallen off.
Once Marvin Collins, a bee enthusiast from the Yeovil division of the Somerset Beekeepers’ Association attended the site, he noticed that these bees were no ordinary bees, but rare black bees. It is understood that there are only an estimated 7 colonies of this type of bee in the UK. Marvin set up a temporary home for the bees over the weekend until he had spoken to staff at South Somerset District Council who owned the tree.
Members of the Countryside and Streetscene teams attended the scene to help with the removal of the bees and also help tidy and make safe the tree by removing other dead limbs. A cherry picker was kindly donated free of charge by Yeovil Hire Centre to help staff gain access to the top of the tree.
Once at the top of the tree, Marvin was able to remove a large quantity of bees including the queen bee and safely move them into a man-made beehive with assistance from staff at the district council.
Councillor Jo Roundell Greene, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Economic Development said, “Praise must go to our staff at the district council who helped the Somerset Beekeepers’ Association safely remove the black bees. It’s wonderful to know that South Somerset is home to such a rare species of wildlife.
“Special thanks must also go to Yeovil Hire Centre for donating the cherry picker free of charge and also to Marvin Collins and the Somerset Beekeepers’ Association for acting swiftly over the weekend to protect these black bees.”