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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 May 2007, 14:51 GMT 15:51 UK
Alarm as swarm of bees hits pier
A swarm of thousands of honeybees caused alarm as it descended on a popular seafront pier in Dorset.

Holidaymakers fled as the estimated 20,000 bees gathered on Bournemouth Pier on Tuesday afternoon.

Pest control official Nic Wedge said: "They were simply trying to find a new place to nest and not capable of causing harm to the public."

A cordon was placed around the nest and the queen bee was placed into a container for the workers to follow.

The container was then transferred to a private apiary - a place where bees are kept.

Bee expert Koos Biesmeijer said that honeybees started to swarm and look for a new nest from late April to early June.

Mr Biesmeijer, a research fellow in ecology at the University of Leeds, said: "Twenty thousand bees sounds like an awful lot but it's really a normal size. A colony can have up to 50,000 bees."

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