On Sunday, I was called out to a swarm of bees who had decided to make their home in a lamppost. They were flying in and out of the access panel, and as they were in a residential area, and their flight path at small-child’s-face level, I was concerned to get them out before pest control was called in to destroy them.
I tried smoking them out but to no avail, so I decided I would get in touch with whoever looks after street lamps and ask them to undo the panel for me so I could access the bees.
With some trepidation, I rang Wealden District Council to ask if they could send someone out to unlock the panel. They explained that street lamps were East Sussex Highways’ responsibility so I rang them, and the lovely Jade told me that bees were Environmental Health’s responsibility. I rang Environmental Health who said they could send someone round to deal with the bees but they couldn’t open the panel, as that was East Sussex Highways’ responsibility…
So, I rang East Sussex Highways again and explained that I was happy to remove the bees but I needed to access them, and she said they would ask their team. Jade asked if the lamp was still working, which it was. I was told that with things in street lamps, they didn’t take any action if the creature in question wasn’t affecting the operating of the lamp. I explained that these were honey bees rather than bumblebees or a nesting bird, and consequently a bit stingy and could be there a long time and she said “Oh….let me ask again”.
Jade rang back to say that she could arrange for someone to meet me at the street lamp and undo the panel but as the wires inside were dangerous I would not be permitted to put my hand in there. I suggested that the lamp operative may be reluctant to put their hand in the lamp if it was full of bees, but apparently the possible electrocution of a beekeeper is more of a problem than the possible stinging of a lamp technician, which I suppose is a comfort.
We left it that I would meet said operative at a mutually convenient time by the bees, and if necessary I could lend them my gauntlet with which to reach in to the wire-filled cavity and remove the bees. Watch this space 🙂