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Sophie Brownson

Massive swarm of 15,000 bees take over wall of South Tyneside home

Two beekeepers saved the day when a massive swarm of 15,000 bees appeared on the wall of a home in Whitburn.

The incredible sight occurred on Rupert Street in the village on Thursday morning with the bees said to have created quite a lot of noise during their time in the area.

Concerned passer by Keith Adams was stunned to see the swarm and took to Facebook to ask if any beekeepers in the area could help to relocate them.

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"I have a small property maintenance business and was visiting a customer in the street," Keith said. "On the way in there was nothing but 15 minutes later on my way out the swarm had appeared. It happened that quick."

Beekeeper Jodie Newbrook was quick to offer her help, travelling from her home in Gateshead to remove the swarm.

Beekeepers Christine Cajiao and Jodie Newbrook relocated the bees. (Keith Adams)

The 39-year-old spent around 40 minutes collecting the bees along with the help of fellow beekeeper Christine Cajiao, before taking them to her allotment hive where they are said to be settling in well.

"It's like a race between beekeepers to go and get them as everybody wants to go and pick the swarms up," Jodie said.

"It's because when you get a swarm you get to keep the bees and if you were to buy a hive of bees like that it costs about £200.

The huge swarm of bees on Rupert Street in Whitburn. (Keith Adams)

"It is swarming season at the minute because the bees are coming out of hibernation. They are coming out for the flowers and because the Queen bee starts laying again after the winter.

"They swarm because another Queen bee is being produced in the colony and the two Queens won't live together."

Jodie, who is a committee member of the Tyneside Beekeepers Association, has been beekeeping as a hobby for the last two years. She said the Whitburn swarm has around 15,000 bees in it and that swarms often formed when the weather is warm during May and June.

"There have been quite a few swarms in [the Whitburn] area before so there must be some hives really close by," she said.

"But you can get swarms anywhere. You would be surprised at how many beekeepers there are and how many hives they are around."


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