Bees will do anything for their queen — even sacrifice their own lives.
68-year-old Carol Howarth was driving back from a local nature reserve when she noticed she had a few extra guests traveling with her. 20,000 guests, to be exact, all of them bees trying to locate their queen.
Howarth first discovered her little problem when she stopped to go shopping in West Wales, and thousands of bees descended upon her car. The bee’s matriarch, it appears, was trapped in the car’s rear compartment. Colony bees are known to hunt down their queen bee if she changes hives.
Pembrokshire Coast National Park ranger Tom Moses was driving by when he noticed the bees storming her car. So Moses called in the local beekeepers’ association as well as his fellow rangers, hoping to save Howarth and some bees in the process.
Bees are dying worldwide and, because of the role they play in ecosystems, researchers are dedicated to keep the population alive. Instead of killing them off, these beekeepers first tried to capture the bees by coaxing them into a cardboard box. Multiple keepers were stung in the process.
The next morning, Howarth returned to her car only to discover that the bees had returned. The keepers returned, and by 6 p.m. that night, her Mitsubishi Outlander was finally free of bees.
“We think the queen had been attracted to something in the car, perhaps something sweet, and had got into a gap on the boot’s wiper blade or perhaps the hinge,” Roger Burn from the Pembrokeshire Beekepers Assocation told The Milford Mercury.
While the bees have since been returned to their natural habitat, the status of the queen bee is unknown. Perhaps it’s none of our bzzzness to ask in the first place.
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