“Beekeepers at Westminster Cathedral have taken in a swarm of escaped bees who terrified customers in Topshop at London Victoria last week.
Friday morning shoppers visiting the clothes store, which is opposite the Cathedral, were forced to flee when a swarm suddenly emerged causing panic.
Because Westminster Cathedral already has two hives on its roof, the cathedral’s beekeepers came to the rescue and removed the swarm and placed it on the cathedral roof with other resident bees.
One woman told the ‘Evening Standard’ that she was trapped in Topshop on Victoria Strret for 30 minutes as she hid for cover afraid of being attacked.
Lara Buckle said: ‘All of a sudden there were thousands and thousands of bees flying around. You could hardly see the sky because there were so many.
‘YOU COULD HARDLY SEE THE SKY’
‘At first people were just walking through it, it looked like dust particles and then all of a sudden people started panicking, hitting themselves, trying to get them off.’
Removing a hive of bees is generally done by enticing the queen bee on to a frame that contains a ‘brood’ which causes the other bees to faithfully follow.
A spokeswoman for Westminster Cathedral said: ‘The bees are now resting on the Cathedral roof, albeit separately from our own hives, awaiting relocation to a new home.’
It is understood that the queen bee rested on the shop window and the remaining bees quickly followed.”
– This article entitled “Escaped swarm of bees whisked off to Cathedral” was published in “The Catholic Herald” issue May 23 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).