Hive-five for Douglas as he clears bee swarm

HE normally gets his daily buzz by brokering major money deals as a senior manager in one of the world's biggest banks.

But Douglas Kerr found himself facing tougher negotiations during his lunch hour when he was outnumbered by a swarm of bees forming a hive outside a George Street office.

The 43-year-old head of corporate and institutional banking with the Royal Bank of Scotland simply drew on all his experience as an amateur beekeeper and set to work.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As the swarm formed its hive on a concrete pillar outside the Standard Life Investments building, Mr Kerr, who has kept bees for the last four years, rushed home to gather up his protective clothing, a small hive and a honeycomb.

Then in front of dozens of curious onlookers, he spent the next hour trying to lure the queen and hundreds of worker bees into the makeshift hive.

Mr Kerr said: "It was windy at the time, and a lot of the bees were flying around because of this, but it didn't take me too long - once you get the queen bee into the hive, the rest of them soon follow."

He has now decided to adopt the swarm and has taken it home to one of his hives in his back garden.

He added: "When it gets cooler, bees tend to settle down and go back to the hive. I was able to get them into a box and will transfer them into a hive at some point."

Photo laboratory assistant Ian Finlayson, 60, was walking along George Street when he noticed Mr Kerr dealing with the bees at around 2.30pm on Thursday.

He said: "I saw a guy in protective clothing come down with what I thought was a cardboard box. They were flying around him for about ten to 15 yards, and just before the swarm went into the box the bees all looked like a solid mass which must have been about nine inches wide."

The bees were left to settle in to the hive for the remainder of the afternoon and Mr Kerr cordoned off the area with yellow tape to make sure that passers-by were aware of the visitors.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

George Ramage, 58, a security guard at Standard Life Investments, spent the day keeping an eye on the bees to make sure that no Standard Life customers stumbled across it. He said: "I first saw the bees at about 10 o'clock in the morning. To see something like that in the centre of town was just unbelievable.

"Our clients are usually dropped off and picked up around the place where the bees were, so we had to make sure no one was hurt."

Amazingly, Mr Ramage said that the bees did not sting anyone. He added: "I sat down on the concrete pillar right next to the bees and had my photo taken. They never touched me at all."

Standard Life receptionist Kathy Brown, 58, said: "I arrived this morning and someone told me the queen was here. I had no idea what they were talking about - I thought they meant the real Queen. I'd managed to walk straight past the bees without noticing."