bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Friday, July 23, 2004

Swarm casts off

A lone crewman is reported to have been surrounded by bees on an angling boat two miles off the Welsh coast tonight. The coastguard and lifeboat came to his rescue and are now trying to get a beekeeper out to the vessel to stop the mutiny.

Presumably, a swarm was misdirected by its scouts (they must have been sea scouts), realised the futility of its mission and landed on the first available dry object. Aptly, the boat was named Castaway (non-beekeepers might like to know that swarms come in two main types: prime swarms (primary) and cast swarms (secondary)).

Postscript: Looking at a map of the area, it would seem that the swarm was trying to cross an inlet. The boat is reported to have been two miles off Penclawdd and the inlet is about one mile across at that point. It's the first time I've heard of a swarm crossing a wide expanse of water to relocate.

Further update: BBC News Online has a picture of the offending swarm that “trapped” the man and forced him “to take refuge” in his cabin. (The swarm looks a bit pathetic, actually.)


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