AROUND 25,000 honey bees have been saved and rehomed from the roof of a dental surgery in Weaverham.

The dentist in Church Street was made aware of two beehives at the back of the property by a concerned neighbour and decided to get them removed.

Mandy Digby, practice manager, said: “One of the neighbours came round and said she was worried about her little dog getting stung by the wasps that had formed a nest around the back of the dentist surgery.

Northwich Guardian:

Chris has moved the bees to his hives in Middlewich

“But when we had it looked at we realised that they were actually honey bees.

“We were told that if they got too big for the hive and decided to swarm they could swarm to a nearby neighbour’s property, which obviously we didn’t want to happen.”

Despite common belief, honey bees can be exterminated legally if DEFRA guidelines are followed and this is the most common outcome when unwanted hives are made in properties.

But when Mandy got in touch with local pest control expert Chris Bowyer, who works for Paul Jones Pest Control, he suggested a more favourable course of action.

Chris is also a beekeeper and keeps 30 hives of up to 50,000 honey bees per hive, in Middlewich.

Northwich Guardian:

Thousands of honey bees around one of the hives at the Weaverham dentist

Chris’s previous work as a builder means he was able to rehome the hives, saving thousands of honey bees which pollinate the food we eat.

Chris said: “A regular beekeeper wouldn’t have insurance to carry out remedial work when a hive is in a roof like they often are, but because I used to work for a building firm, my insurance covers that kind of work.

“You can legally kill off the hive and then come back and clear it all away, and that’s what would usually happen, but I just don’t see the point in doing that if there’s a chance that you can rehome them instead.

“Honey bees are in decline throughout the country and without them we wouldn’t be able to pollinate the food we eat.

“Every colony saved is a huge bonus.”

Northwich Guardian:

Chris found and captured the queen bee, so that the other bees would follow

Honey bee hives can contain anywhere between 10,000 and 60,000 bees.

The two removed from the surgery in Weaverham were smaller due to the time of year, but if they had been left until the summer, Chris would have had a much bigger job on his hands.

He added: “During the summer the number of bees in the hive grows and if they outgrow the hive, they’ll swarm.

“It’s unusual that they would swarm so close but there’s always the danger that they could swarm into a nearby house chimney or roof.”

Northwich Guardian:

The bees are now rehomed in their new hive