5,000 Honeybees Take Over Topshop In London

 @TreyeGreen t.green@ibtimes.com
on May 17 2014 4:05 PM
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The bees took up residence on a discount sign on the window of Topshop on Victoria Street in central London. Reuters

This season, honeybees are most definitely in, at least at a central London Topshop. 

The trendy retail shop was overcome by a nest of at least 5,000 honeybees, reports the Guardian. The bees took up residence on a discount sign on the window of the establishment. 

According to the Guardian, the spot was chosen by the queen bee, who landed at the location first. The rest of the colony then followed her lead, rapidly descending on the unusual nesting spot. Several shoppers took photos of the insect takeover.

The attempt to remove the bees was lead by Tony Mann, a trained beekeeper and project manager at John Lewis. The team used smoke to attempt to contain the colony. 

"We have either had a virgin queen or an old queen. She has left the nest, and she has brought the swarm and settled on the shop front," Mann said. "We are going to smoke them into a box and encourage them to stay there. We will remove them later today."

Mann revealed the bees would be relocated to "whoever wants the hive" since London is in need of bees. Bees are a keystone species," Mann added. 

The colony was eventually moved to safely moved roof of Westminster Cathedral across the street from the Topshop on Victoria Street. It will be monitored by beekeepers.

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