“I have a Moral Duty to Look After All Creatures Who Live in Trees as Best as I Can”

A tree was a danger because it leaned over a road in Childer Thornton, a village in England, so in May 2013 tree surgeon John Joinson was brought in to cut the tree down; however, he noticed bees coming and going in a crack in the tree. Mr. Joinson could have easily killed the bees with insecticide, but he decided to try to save the bees instead, and so he consulted a beekeeper. Mr. Joinson said about the bees, “They were in the trunk. The beekeeper suggested we went back at night and filled the crack with rags, which we did. The next morning we felled the tree with the crack still plugged and the bees still inside. When we finished work that day, we removed the rags and the bees were able to fly out. Then it came to the point when we needed to shift the tree. The beekeeper found the queen and isolated her — she was twice the size of the other bees. She was put in a small ventilated box and then placed in a bigger cardboard box. When the bees returned, instead of going into the tree, they went into the box as she gives off a pheromone, and they could smell her. Over about four hours the majority of bees were in the box and not the nest. The beekeeper then took them to his hives in Llandegla. He said we saved about 20,000.” Bees are important in the fertilization of plants. Mr. Joinson added, “Everyone needs to know how important bees are. I have a moral duty to look after all creatures who live in trees as best as I can. Every job is different, but I’ve never had one quite like this before.” Bees have suffered a die-off in recent years. One way to help is to plant bee-friendly plants. According to Martin Smith, president of the British Beekeepers Association in 2011, “It is really important that there are flowering nectar-rich plants around in August, September, and October to provide the nutrition that’s needed so the bees can top up their stores of honey in the hive to see them through winter.”

For Further Information: “Tree surgeon saves 20,000 bees in Childer Thornton.” Ellesmere Port Pioneer (Ellesmere Port, England). 8 May 2013


For Further Information: Alison Benjamin, “Experts puzzled by big decline in honeybees over winter.” Guardian (UK). 22 June 2011


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