Swarm of bees kill amateur beekeeper

Rare fatal incident as 58-year-old killed as he tried to dislodge swarm under roof of nearby house

18 May 2017
By Connexion journalist

An amateur beekeeper died trying to remove a swarm of bees from a neighbour's house in the Dordogne.

Bees got under the facemask the 58-year-old was wearing and stung him repeatedly as he tried to move the swarm that had settled under the roof of a property in Trémolat, 40 kilometres east of Bergerac, France Bleu Perigord reports.

Tragedies of this type are rare, experts say, and swarming bees are generally no cause for alarm. But bees have a habit of swarming in spring and early summer as colonies divide and new nests are created.

They can swarm in a variety of places, such as under roofs or bridges, in chimneys, or near holes in trees.

Experts warn people not to try to collect and move swarms unless they are trained in the appropriate techniques. Avoid disturbing the swarm by approaching too close or making too much noise. And do not try to destroy a colony - it will only make the bees angry.

If you do see a swarm, call firefighters or local professional beekeepers, who will collect it and install it in a new hive.

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