The swarm of around 20,000 sparked chaos when their queen got stuck in a car boot.
However it took five different beekeepers, park rangers and passers-by to coax them off into a cardboard box, only for the wind to blow it off the car and the queen go back to the silver Mitsubishi Outlander’s boot.
Roger Burns of Pembrokeshire Beekeepers then says the car’s owner returned and drove away with the queen unknowingly trapped in the back, resulting in the swarm taking up the chase – even being spotted on the car’s boot the next day.
Roger, a 65-year-old retired doctor, said:
‘We think the queen had been attracted to something in the car, perhaps something sweet, and had got into a gap on the boot’s wiper blade or perhaps the hinge.
‘The swarm of around 20,000 had followed her and were sat around on the boot of the car. I brought over a cardboard box and carefully brushed them into there as quickly as possible as I was aware it was a big swarm in the middle of the high street.
‘I got about 15 or 20 stings for my trouble. I then left the cardboard box on the roof while we waited for the last few hundred bees to leave the boot but then a gust of wind blew it off and the queen fled back to the boot again.
‘Unfortunately I had to go to dinner so another beekeeper took up the watch however eventually the car owner returned and drove off without realising the queen was still hidden in the back.
‘I think the owner must have been a bit scared of the swarm that was hanging around and just wanted to get away without realising they were attracted the car because of the queen.
‘We were left with a swarm of queen-less bees in the box and then heard that the same car was spotted the very next day with a swarm all over the boot, still chasing it.’
Roger added: ‘I have been beekeeping for 30 years and I have never seen a swarm do that. It is natural for them to follow the queen but it is a strange thing to see and quite surprising to have a car followed for two days. It was quite amusing.’