Hot weather could lead to 20,000-strong swarms of angry bees in the UK

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Britain's sizzling weather could have a sting in the tail – in the form of 20,000-strong swarms of angry bees.

Experts warn that the heat could make them short-tempered.

Beekeeper Daniel Thomas, from Dedham Vale Honey in Suffolk, was called to collect 12 swarms over the weekend – including one from a Tesco car park, another inside a compost bin, and a third hiding out in a disused water feature.

He urged people not to panic if they see one.

"If you see a swarm arrive it is just like horror movie stuff," he said.

"The main thing is don’t panic. Just call a beekeeper – that’s all you need to do.

"They’re not trying to sting you or do anything to you.

"All they’re looking for is a home. When bees are in a swarm there’s nothing really for them to protect – only themselves.

"Whereas if you went to a hive or you went to a tree where they’re living they will defend that because they’ve got their young in there, their eggs in there. And they’ve got their honey store which is the food for the winter.

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"Sometimes I can go weeks without getting stung.

"But sometimes I’ll get stung every day for a week."

Honey bees swarm when they have outgrown a hive.

A queen will lead up to 20,000 workers off to find a new home leaving the rest of the colony with more space.

Most people can withstand up to 1,000 stings. But if they are allergic just one could be fatal.

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In UK weather news, the Met Office and are forecasting London and the southeast to see the mercury rise to 28C after the highest temperature recorded in the UK on Tuesday was Cardiff at 26.1C.

As well as Tuesday being the hottest day of the year so far in 2021, it was also the first official meteorological day of the summer.

  • Heatwave
  • UK Weather
  • Met Office

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