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Beekeeping hobby 'leading to an increase in swarms' in Northern Ireland

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Bees seem to get a pleasurable 'high' from nicotine-like pesticides, a study suggests (Nature Publishing Group/PA)

Bees seem to get a pleasurable 'high' from nicotine-like pesticides, a study suggests (Nature Publishing Group/PA)

Bees seem to get a pleasurable 'high' from nicotine-like pesticides, a study suggests (Nature Publishing Group/PA)

Hobby beekeepers in Northern Ireland could 'bee' the reason behind an upsurge of swarms here, an expert has warned.

Just last week, beekeepers were called in to remove a swarm of bees from the roof of a car in Greyabbey, north Down.

Last year, a swarm invaded a bride's Bangor home as she left for her wedding. Shortly afterwards, bees swarmed around a nearby church, trapping those inside.

It's believed that this is the result of a new trend for beekeeping - although many hobbyists are not seeking training first.

Lyndon Wortley of the Institute of Northern Ireland Beekeepers said hives must be inspected weekly to check if the bees are getting ready to find a new home. Beekeepers must also make sure to split their colonies to avoid swarms, he said.

He said anyone who decides to take this up as a hobby should "contact their local beekeeping association, who will get them enrolled on beginners' classes".

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