Animals love cars. Whether it’s the local tabby looking for a warm bonnet to snooze on, spiders weaving webs from wing mirrors or flies sneaking in open windows, we’ve all had to share our vehicles with Mother Nature.
However, Hull resident Shirley Taylor was left with quite a shock when she returned from an outing to discover her Nissan Juke was covered in bees. In fact, the blue crossover parked in her driveway had attracted something like 20,000 of them.
It’s not the first time bees have created a hive out of a car, so it got us wondering. Why do bees sometimes swarm on vehicles and what happens next?
The first question has quite a simple answer. When a colony grows too large for its hive, some of the bees leave and go in search of somewhere new to build a home. It’s unclear what exactly drew them to Taylor’s car in particular, but they tend to prefer dark places.
If you find yourself with a swarm on your car, the first thing to do is call in the experts. In this case, the Beverley Beekeepers’ Association answered the call. On its website, it says that beekeepers only deal with honey bees, so check that those in the swarm are round and hairy, make a loud buzzing sound when flying and have a yellow, white or orange band at their tail.
Back in Hull, and pictures from the scene show a large number of bees congregating around the wing mirror, but the majority of the insects had actually made themselves at home under the bonnet.
The beekeepers first went in with a box of larvae in a bid to coax the bees out, as they’re attracted to the smell and will want to keep them warm. The team also used smoke in a bid to coax the colony out and calm them down.
Taylor had bought her Juke from nearby Trenton Nissan about a year ago, and when the dealership staff heard about her misfortune, they got in touch to see how they could help.
First of all, the beekeepers spoke to the dealer to find out all the nooks and crannies that the bees could have hidden in to make sure that every last insect was accounted for.
But it wasn’t just insider knowledge that proved useful. The bees had started to produce wax, which had covered an area surrounding the wing mirror and needed cleaning.
Trenton’s director, Andy Woodhall, told dealership news site Nissan Insider: “Once Shirley’s Nissan Juke is completely clear, we want to give her some peace of mind, so we are going to give it a thorough final check over, a full valet and give it a Supagard paint treatment as well.”
It might be a rare occurrence, but it’s always useful to know what to do if your car is taken over. So if you find yourself with a bee – or 20,000 – under your bonnet, give the experts a call.