A TREE surgeon felled an ancient oak in Childer Thornton – unleashing a swarm of 20,000 bees.

Chester Oaks, based in Nannerch, Flintshire, was called to Meadowbank Farm in Heath Lane when concern grew as the tree, which was at least 300 years old, hung over the road.

Chester Oaks manager John Joinson said: “There’s not many rings left, they’ve all rotted away.

“A lot of local residents are interested, saying ‘what a shame this tree is coming down, this tree was here when I was a little girl’. Once we’ve explained and shown people the rot in the tree they have understood.

“We are taking it away to make it into logs.”

John’s team worked through the weekend and on Saturday, a bees’ nest with more than 20,000 bees was safely removed.

John added: “It would have been easy to kill them off but we dropped the tree with the bees nest in tack.

“Then we cut the wood in half through the bee hive to release the bees.

“We employed a beekeeper to gather them up and give them a new home.

“I don’t like the destruction side of the work – I’d rather reshape a tree than take it down. But in the past it has shed branches.”