FURIOUS BEES drive off a would-be thief who broke into an urban honey farm in London this week
A clueless criminal who jumped a fence only to land on a hive full of angry bees has received ‘natural justice,’ says beekeeper Dale Gibson.
Dale, who keeps several hives in Potters Fields Park, near Tower Bridge, London, believes the villain broke into the compound looking for tools and farm equipment.
Unfortunately for the crook, there were two hives sited right below the fence – each containing in the region of 20,000 furious stinging insects.
One was completely smashed and the roof had been knocked off another.
Dale told the Daily Star: “ Upending an active hive will cause the bees to become very defensive.
“I would imagine that causing that damage in ordinary clothing would result in several stings pretty immediately… and the smell given off by a bee-sting is a marker for other bees to sting in the same area.”
Dale, 61, described his reaction when he found out the hives had been damaged to the London Evening Standard: “Hives don’t just fall over, they get knocked over.
“Immediately my thoughts were this was an extraordinary action due to external influences.
“The hives were able to be put back together and we didn’t lose any honey stock, but we did have some casualties. I think the bees would have given as good as they got.”
Dale told us that there were tools and other kit in the area that might have attracted the thief: ” The enclosure has some infrastructure plant in the open and garden equipment and machinery locked in a container, so I am guessing that this was an opportunistic incursion.”
Nothing was actually stolen, leading Dale to believe that the interloper was driven off by the furious insects almost as soon as they crash-landed on the hive.
Up to eighty thousand bees coudl have been involved in the incident: “There are four hives in the apiary, with an estimated 20,000 bees in each. It is possible that all may have been disturbed in the general excitement. “
“I think the bees would have given as good as they got”
Dale is something of a celebrity beekeeper, maintaining a bee colony at fashionable country hideaway Soho Farmhouse was well as his main hives for Bermondsey Street Bees.
He explained that, while bees can’t see in the dark, they can soon find someone who is sprawled in the wreckage of their hive. And they wouldn’t have let the intruder off lightly.
Dale says he hasn’t bothered to contact police, believing that the number of stings that the intruder would have received was a form of ‘natural justice.’