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Page last updated at 15:50 GMT, Friday, 14 May 2010 16:50 UK
Being kind to the humble bumble - and other bees
Crown copyright: Food and Environment Research Agency, National Bee Unit, BeeBase
Planting flowers such as clover encourages bees to flourish

A bee rescue service has been set up by the Peterborough Beekeeping Association.

The emergency response team was formed to remove swarming bees before pest controllers can come in and kill them.

Richard Davis from the association said: "Colonies of bees have been dying out so we need to rescue any that we can find."

Swarms found by the rescue team are then taken to new beekeepers or used to replace colonies that have died.

Richard Davis has been a beekeeper for 40 years and is one of six enthusiasts offering to remove troublesome swarms.

"At this time of year a healthy colony of bees will split in two - that's the way they breed," he explained. "Part of the colony flies off to find a new home and that's what we call a swarm."

He described a typical swarm as resembling a rugby ball.

"We'll rescue them - and rescue you," he added.


Meanwhile, radio presenter Steve Line claims to have a unique skill when it comes to dealing with bees and other insects.

He is a self-professed 'bee calmer'.

"I'm not a bee expert, and I haven't had any training, but I've done this on quite a few occasions," said Steve.

Once, he was helping with a house removal and for some reason, there were lots of bees inside the building.

"The owner came in brandishing a Yellow Pages to swat some of them, as she was quite scared - which is natural enough."

Steve explained that it wasn't necessary to kill the insects and that he could calm them down and remove them safely.

And how did he do it? Well, in true Dr Doolittle-style, he talked them into submission.

Using a page from the book - "I find they like the colour yellow" - and talking gently to the frantically-buzzing bee, he was able to calm it down, persuade it to crawl onto the page, and carry it safely outside.

"I brought it into my body as I walked out into the garden, and released it, to fly away and find all its friends."

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