A couple in the small town of Pinos Puente north-west of Granada had a problem this spring. They were unable to sleep because of an unidentified buzzing noise in their bedroom.
After three months of sleepless nights, they decided they needed help and, having previously seen large numbers of bees in the area, they called on specialist beekeeper Sergio Guerrero to investigate. But when he arrived on May 12, he had a shock – even for someone experienced in handling the insects.
Behind a bedroom wall, he discovered a colony, estimated to be 80,000 bees strong, which had been growing for the last two years. Sr Guerrero said he was surprised that the couple had been able to share a house for so long with their noisy neighbours.
Experts say the bees will have been encouraged by the large numbers of wild flowers in the area and by the high temperatures of recent summers which have extended the bees’ reproductive period. Sr Guerrero says he has been asked to deal with more problem swarms than ever this year, suggesting the population is in good health.
It took seven hours to remove the bees using a special suction system which meant that all the insects were extracted safely. They were later released in the countryside at least 800 metres from the nearest population centre to seek a new home.
While Granada’s bee population appears to be thriving, bees have been on a decline worldwide in recent years. Some species were added to the endangered list in 2017 and 2018 in an effort to protect and revive their numbers.