Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Culdrose buzzing in the summer sun

21 June 2016
An instructor at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose was greeted by a Buzzing surprise recently when he turned-to at the start of his working day.

Air Engineer Petty Officer Si Baker, who is responsible for the station's Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) defence cell, was met by a swarm of Bees whom had taken up residence outside his office window.

Well aware that the warmer weather had encouraged the Bees to move to pastures new, away from their customary hive, he immediately called a local Bee Keeper to help re-home the swarm.

We are normally dressed in CBRN suits and respirators for our job, but this was a new experience for my team.

Air Engineer Petty Officer Si Baker

"It was a bit worrying at first," said Si, "but after a few phone calls had it all under control. 

“We are normally dressed in CBRN suits and respirators for our job, but this was a new experience for my team."

Soon after he put in the call to the West Cornwall Bee Keepers Association, Les Tonkin the association's Swarm Co-ordinator was on the scene checking to see what all the fuss was about.

"This turned out to be what's known as a 'Cast of Bees'," said Les.

"It was just a small swarm around a 'Virgin Queen'. She's surplus to the original hive where there's an older Queen.

“So she's made a breakaway, followed by a small swarm from the main group."

Les effortlessly feathered the 'Cast' of Honey Bees into a transit box and took them away to start another colony, hopefully next year when the Queen is a bit more mature.

"It's a free service we provide for anyone who comes across swarms or casts in their gardens or houses.

“Bees have a difficult time starting up new colonies, so anything we can do to help is always appreciated,” added Les.

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.