Repeated vandal attacks on beehives leaves Liverpool beekeeping society looking for new home

The beekeepers association say the vandals need to be given the opportunity to be educated about the importance of bees.

A beekeeper training centre in South Liverpool are considering a move to a new home following a spate of vandal attacks on their hives.

The apiary, which is run by the Liverpool and Merseyside Beekeepers Association, has been on the same site in Merseyside for 15 years.

But acts of vandalism in success weeks, which has seen bricks thrown at hives and some of them upturned, poses a threat to the survival of the bees.

The Liverpool site currently has around 18 colonies with each containing around 40,000 to 60,000 bees.

John Mooney from the Liverpool and Merseyside Beekeepers Association said: "The hives were replaced but they came back and knocked them down again."

John Mooney from the Liverpool and Merseyside Beekeepers Association.John Mooney from the Liverpool and Merseyside Beekeepers Association.
John Mooney from the Liverpool and Merseyside Beekeepers Association.

Mr Mooney added that he would like to educate those responsible for the vandalism and get them involved with the bees.

He said: “The only way to change this type of behaviour is through education and opportunity, and this apiary is exactly that. It’s a fantastic facility.

“We have over 100 members and we have ten new beekeepers through a beginners course. We are always encouraging people to come along and understand how important these creatures are to us.”

Up to two-thirds of the food we eat is down to bees pollinating the plants; without them, we would have a very bland diet.

Bees a danger to vandals

Mr Mooney also warned the vandals that the bees at the apiary can react in stinging swarms when attacked.

He said: “They have a sting which, if they feel the hive is under threat, they will use. In a situation like this, if a bee stings in a defensive mode, it releases a pheromone which means the other bees will sting as well in order to protect the colony.

“So, it’s a very dangerous thing these kids are doing because if one of these kids were to suffer an anaphylactic shock, that is a medical emergency. It would need immediate attention, so they need to be very, very careful."

Beekeepers at the South Liverpool site.Beekeepers at the South Liverpool site.
Beekeepers at the South Liverpool site.

A bee superhighway

John said, "We’ve got bees on The Liver Building and the Port of Liverpool buildings. What we are trying to do is to create bee highways.

“So, anyone anywhere can plant bee-friendly flowers, it creates a pathway for the bees to move around the city, and these small things are making a big difference."

Watch the video at the top of the page for more on this story.

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