A TREE surgeon has saved 20,000 bees who set up home in the trunk of a tree.
John Joinson was asked to fell a dangerous tree which was leaning over a road in Childer Thornton – but when he started to dismantle it he noticed the bees coming and going from a crack and sought the help of a professional bee keeper.
John, 48, of Nannerch, who set up his business Chester Oaks about 10 years ago, told the Pioneer it would have been ‘easy to kill them with a can of wasp spray’ but he decided to do his best to save the bees.
He said: “They were in the trunk. The beekeeper suggested we went back at night and filled the crack with rags which we did. The next morning we felled the tree with the crack still plugged and the bees still inside. When we finished work that day we removed the rags and the bees were able to fly out.
“Then it came to the point when we needed to shift the tree.
“The bee keeper found the queen and isolated her – she was twice the size of the other bees. She was put in a small ventilated box and then placed in a bigger cardboard box. When the bees returned, instead of going into the tree, they went into the box as she gives off a pheromone, and they could smell her. Over about four hours the majority of bees were in the box and not the nest. The bee keeper then took them to his hives in Llandegla. He said we saved about 20,000.”
John explained that bees are vital as they make an important contribution to sustain most vegetation, agriculture and the environment.
He added: “Everyone needs to know how important bees are. I have a moral duty to look after all creatures who live in trees as best as I can. Every job is different but I’ve never had one quite like this before.”