What’s worse than being chased by a bee? A Welsh woman named Carol Howarth found out the answer: being chased by over 20,000 of them.
According to CNN, Howarth paid a trip to a local nature reserve, where she picked up an unintended souvenir: a hive’s queen bee. The royal passenger was trapped in her car’s rear compartment, but Howarth didn’t notice until later, when she decided to go shopping in Haverfordwest, West Wales.
Colony bees tend to hunt down their queen if she switches hives. Turns out, thousands of buzzing insects had followed Howarth out of the reserve. Once she parked, they swarmed onto the back of Howarth’s Mitsubishi Outlander, trying to find their matriarch.
A Pembrokeshire Coast National Park ranger named Tom Moses drove by, and decided to come to Howarth’s rescue. He didn’t want to kill the bees, so he called up the Pembrokeshire Beekeepers Association. They arrived and got stung multiple times, but members finally managed to sweep the bees into a cardboard box.
The next day, Howarth woke up at home, went to her car, and discovered that the bees were back. The bee squad again arrived and collected the insects—and this time, the swarm finally disappeared for good.
Roger Burns of the Pembrokeshire Beekeepers Association speculated that it was possible that “the hive’s queen had been attracted to something in the car—perhaps a sweet or food in the car.” (Oddly, the team never found the queen in Howarth’s vehicle.) "I have been beekeeping for 30 years and I have never seen a swarm do that," he said. "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."
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