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Thousands of bees engulf traffic light as horrified witnesses duck to avoid being stung

A huge swarm of bees was spotted engulfing a traffic light and postbox in a city centre yesterday.

Footage captured thousands of the insects buzzing around a pedestrian crossing in central Manchester as the weather heated up.

People were seen ducking down and covering their faces with clothing in a bid to avoid the swarm, reports Manchester Evening News.

One passerby wrote on social media: “I know Manchester is known for bees, but this was a bit extreme.”

And another said: “The bees are taking back Manchester!”

It is not the first time a swarm has been spotted in the city – in June last year, thousands of bees descended on a BMW outside an office building.

This was followed by another swarm settling outside a bar just days later.

Meanwhile, in May this year, an estimated 15,000 bees suddenly appeared on a home in Whitburn, with two beekeepers called to save the day.

Jodie Newbrook, who spent around 40 minutes collecting the bees, said at the time: “”It’s like a race between beekeepers to go and get them as everybody wants to go and pick the swarms up.

“It’s because when you get a swarm you get to keep the bees and if you were to buy a hive of bees like that it costs about £200.

“It is swarming season at the minute because the bees are coming out of hibernation. They are coming out for the flowers and because the Queen bee starts laying again after the winter.

“They swarm because another Queen bee is being produced in the colony and the two Queens won’t live together.”

A honeybee colony leave its hive and finds a spot to wait in until scout bees decide on a new home for the colony – typically between the months of May and July, according to the British Beekeepers Association.

Although swarms pose little danger to any experts, passersby are advised to steer clear and call their local swarm collector.

Sue Fink, a swarm remover in the Manchester area, says: “When you see swarms of bees attacking people in a film, that will not happen in real life. Because a swarm of bees is sworn to defend the queen bee, who is in the middle of that swarm.

“All they’re interested in is in protecting their queen. You could walk past the swarm, you could stand and watch them, or sit underneath them, and they would completely ignore you.

“Remember, worker bees are sworn to protect their queen. And if you disturb them with a stick and if the queen bee moves out, then the worker bees would be frenzied and they would sting you.”

A spokesperson for Manchester City Council told the Mirror: “The Council is able to help remove bees that find new homes for themselves, but in this case the bees were actually relocated by the Manchester Honey Company.”