Footage shows 20,000 bees being removed from SSE worker’s car


AMAZING video shows how a swarm of 20,000 bees had to be removed from a worker’s small car.

An SSE car parked at the side of the road covered in bees
20,000 bees had swarmed to the car which was supposed to be on its way to a job

The SSE employee was shocked to find the bees on his doors when he returned to his vehicle in Aberdeen city centre yesterday afternoon.

The driver was on his way to do a meter reading when he found his car on Ruthrieston Place covered in the mass of bees.

Whilst most would have panicked, he managed to keep his cool and phone Bee Farmer Brain Gal who came to the rescue.

The 40-year-old, attended the scene and was filmed effectively removing the swarm with his hands.

In order to get rid of the swarm, Brian had to locate the queen bee and remove it so the worker bees would follow.

He said it was like a ‘live version of Where’s Wally’.

Brian posted the video to Facebook yesterday writing: “The SSE car with more shock than electric.

“That’s how we get a swarm of bees to go where I want them to…

“1 – Find the queen and cage her with some workers
“2 – Place the cage where you want them to go
“3 – Wait till they all march into the box
“4 – Job done.

a queen bee on a finger
Brian said finding the queen is often like a real life ‘Where’s Wally?’

“Any bees that are left will head back home to the hive they come from. These bees will be used for pollination at Castleton Farm Shop & Cafe next year once their into a full size hive.”

In the clip Brian, who is dressed in protective clothing, can be seen using his hands to wade through the individual bees examining them and trying to spot the queen.

The bees were unable to gain entry to the car but they often hide in the seal of doors so Brian had placed a letter inside the seam of the car door to prevent the queen from hiding.

Once he identified the queen he removed her and a few other worker bees and put them into a small plastic container.

After removing the queen the other worker bees can be seen moving into a bucket behind her, following her pheromones.

Brian a bee farmer is standing beside the SSE car having got all the bees in a bucket
Brian is a bee farmer and has nearly 100 colonies of his own

The bees are now living on Castleton Farm in Fordoun, Aberdeenshire where they will be able to thrive in a more appropriate location.

Social media users were impressed by Brians skill in removing the bees.

Dawn Mahoney wrote: “My guide to dealing with a swarm: Pee your pants. Phone Brian!”

Margaret Reid wrote: “Simply buzzin’”

Greg Alexander also acknowledged: “This is why camera phones are great.

“Not only can you promote your business, but the person who owned the van could prove they weren’t just making shit up to not have to go to work!”

Speaking today Brian, who has run Cove Honey Bee’s for the last six years explained incidents like this are becoming more common.

He said: “Yesterday I was doing swarm management with my own bees when I got a call from the driver, its right in the middle of swarm season now.

20,000 bees in a bucket
The bees have been successfully re-homed in a more conventional living space

“In their original hives the queen lays about 2,000 eggs a day and they obviously start running out of room, so about 5 or 6 days before they’re ready to hatch the queen leaves the hive with about 20,000 of her workers.

“This time she just happened to land on the SSE car. Normally they would land in a bush or a tree but with more people keeping bees in the city it is more common for them to land on cars or in other weird places.

“We’ve had them land on motorbikes before and also in a postbox once.

“The SSE driver said his grandfather used to keep bees so when he called me up he was actually really calm.

“Because the van was completely secure there weren’t any bees inside but the queen likes to hide so she was inside the seal of the doorframe, that’s why I had the letter in the video and you can see me trying to encourage them out of the cracks.

20,000 bees on an SSE car
Luckily the bees hadn’t gained entry to the vehicle

“Identifying the queen is like a live version of where’s wally but she has a slightly bigger thorax and a slightly longer abdomen so she can reverse into the hives to lay eggs.

“Because they’re in swarm mode, not attack mode you can actually scoop them up with your hand, once you get the queen and a couple of workers then the rest will follow her pheromones so it only took about 20 minutes to get them into the bucket.

SSE took the opportunity to thank the beekeeper who helped their employee.

A spokeswoman said: “We’d like to thank the beekeeper for flying into action when our meter reader gave him a buzz to help tackle the swarm of bees on his vehicle.”