Swarms of honey bees keep Plymouth beekeeper busy

A Plymouth beekeeper who helps coordinate swarms of honey bees has been inundated this summer

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A Devon beekeeper has collected so many swarms of bees this summer, he has run out of space to keep them.

Tim Payne, who lives in Plymouth, said it has been of of the busiest summers for swarms of bees across the South West.

So far this year, the beekeeper has picked up about 20 swarms.

Anyone who sees a swarm should contact the police, local authorities or beekeepers to prevent agitating the insects.

Mr Payne, who operates the local advice service City Bees and is one of the UK's national swarm co-ordinators, said the best thing to do is not to panic, but to stay away from the swarm.

Hive adoption

At the moment his garden, normally home to four hives, has seven.

City Bees is running an "Adopt a Hive" campaign, to encourage people to accept a free hive and offer a home to a swarm.

If a swarm, which can be made up of about 35,000 bees, is left to its own devices it has only a 25% chance of survival.

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