A BEE KEEPER has described the moments he collected a swarm of around 6,000 that had left  residents in a neighbourhood alarmed last week.

People living in Woolacombe Avenue, Sutton Leach and surrounding roads closed their windows and doors and stayed inside as a huge swarm flew around, finally coming to rest together, creating a blanket of bees on a fence at a property on the road.

Bee keeper and voluntary swarm collector Peter Melding, who lives in St Helens, was alerted to the matter and carried out two collections, removing the creatures using a bee-vac and later transferring them to a hive.

He said: “There must be around 6,000 bees which is quite a big swarm.

“Normally bees come out gradually over the spring but because the weather has been so bad, and now there have been a couple of warmer days, they’ve all come out at once. They are all safely together in a hive now. The bee-vac is basically a vacuum cleaner which sucks them up and, although the bees don’t really like it, it doesn’t harm them, it’s just a way of moving them.”

He carried out the first collection at around 5pm on Monday and returned the next morning for the rest of the swarm.

On Monday, a Woolacombe Avenue resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “I arrived home from work a couple of hours ago and saw the bees flying about. They all landed on some fencing, bunched up together. 

“There are hundreds, if not thousands, of them. A nest could have been disturbed.

“There’s no one out in the road and all the children went straight indoors after school.

“It’s quite alarming to see it. Hopefully no one will be harmed and no one will harm the bees as they are an endangered species.”

Anyone who is concerned about the whereabouts of bee swarms can visit: the British Beekeepers Association via the website bbka.org.uk