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Family trapped in house by swarm
BY VICTORIA FLETCHER
Copyright 1998 Times Newspapers Ltd. This service is provided on Times
Newspapers' standard terms and conditions.
(United Kingdom) A WOMAN who claims she was trapped in her
bee-covered house for two days with her two young
children has criticised the local council for refusing to help.
Jane Clark claims that she called twice for a rescue team,
but Weymouth council said it could not intervene as bees
are a protected species. It suggested two beekeepers, but
both were unavailable when Mrs Clark rang them.
Mrs Clark said yesterday: "There were thousands
swarming over the house. It was like something out of a
horror movie. There was a horrendous noise."
Mrs Clark, 35, and her children Ben, three, and Charlie, two
months, had been told of the presence of the bees by a
neighbour who saw a swarm of about 20,000 crawling over
the windows, doors and roof of the house.
She said: "I tried the RSPCA, the police and the fire
brigade, but they said the same - that bees are protected so
I'd have to get a beekeeper.
"Then the bees started settling on the chimney pot.
Fortunately, it's sealed so they couldn't get in the house."
Environmental officers agreed to inspect the house the next
day, but Mrs Clark claims that after seeing the bees, they
promptly gave her neighbours two more contact numbers
On day three, the bees finally flew off, allowing Mrs Clark
and her children to leave their house.
"If they [the council] cannot do anything then at least they
should be able to advise people of what they should do,"
Mrs Clark said afterwards.
Tony Beeson, the environmental health services manager in
Weymouth, Dorset, said: "The bees weren't in the property.
We normally don't like to control bees because they are
very beneficial insects in terms of pollination."
Alex Ross of the RSPCA advised members of the public to
call local bee-keeping societies or pest control units if they
were faced with a similar situation.
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