Tree Bee Society

Honey seeping down walls prompts epic church bee hive removal

Thu 02 May 2019
By Alex Williams

Flowing honey - used as imagery in the Bible to capture the Promised Land's abundance and blessing - seems to have had the opposite effect on a church in Oxfordshire.

Experts were called to St Nicholas in Piddington this week to carefully remove approximately 50,000 bees from its roof after the sweet substance began dripping down walls.

Rector, Rev Andrew Hayes told Premier: "When people were coming to visit the church, they were uncomfortable with the number of bees that were there.


"So, that was what motivated us into action but we didn't want to just eliminate the problem; we wanted to make sure they were looked after and cared for."

The weight of the colony - measuring two metres by one metre in size - also prompted fears the ceiling above the pulpit might collapse. It has cost £5,000 to remove.

Tree Bee Society


Rev Hayes continued: "It's been a three-day operation, they did most of the extraction work [on Wednesday]. They reckon they've got 95 per cent of the bees.

"But, most importantly, they've got the queen bees, so the other bees won't stay in the hive."

Tree Bee Society


The Tree Bee Society told Premier the bees have been released in a field in west Lancashire on Thursday evening.

Experts from the organisation have been encouraged by how well the insects have been adopting to their new home so far.

Tree Bee Society


Five litres of honey retrieved from the colony is considered unsuitable for human consumption but other by-products from the colony - including wax - can be sold, with funds going to Trees for Bees charity.

Click here to listen to Premier's Alex Williams speaking with Rev Stephen Hayes:

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