What a buzz! Bees create a storm as they swarm at South Parade Pier
THE opening of South Parade Pier has created a buzz in the city - and even attracted a swarm of bees.
Visitors to the recently-opened attraction were forced to use the side entrance for most of Sunday after the bees swarmed on a helicopter ride outside the main doors.
Barriers were put up to stop people getting near them before a member of the Portsmouth Beekeepers Association was called to help move the insects.
Chelsea Cooper snapped some pictures of the swarm and commended the pier staff for the way they dealt with the situation.
She said: ‘The bees were first spotted around 11am.
‘The Portsmouth Beekeepers Association were called and arrived in less than an hour despite busy traffic.
‘He humanely attracted the bees to a fake hive, he was excellent.
‘The pier didn’t close at all. The ice cream emporium, creperie and pier shop all remained open as did the arcades.
‘People just had to use the side entrance.
‘The arcade and ice cream staff were excellent and helped by putting up barriers and informing the public of the problem.’
It is unknown what caused the bees to swarm but a spokesman from the Portsmouth Bees Association said the insects could have swarmed because their nest had been disturbed or destroyed or because the queen bee decided to relocate to the pier.
As previously reported in The News, bees have swarmed in public places before when a car at Queen Alexandra Hospital was seen with thousands of bees on it last summer.
The owner of the car was trapped at the Cosham site before a beekeeper moved them away.
The area had to be cordoned off and people directed away from the entrance.
The spokesman for the Portsmouth Beekeepers Association said bees normally swarm between April and August.
He added: ‘Swarms usually happen during the late morning or afternoon from April to August.
‘If one of our beekeepers can get to the swarm quickly the bees can usually be collected safely.
‘And, although a swarm of bees is normally harmless, they do frighten some people and it is best to leave them alone and keep your distance.’
He said bees normally swarm when a colony is strong enough to divide. When that happens, the queen will fly off to make a new home.
For more information visit portsmouthbeekeepers.co.uk.