"I have been beekeeping for thirty years and I have never seen a swarm do that." Well, talk about loyalty.
To learn a thing or two about loyalty to your loved ones, it might actually be a great idea to observe a swarm of bees for some inspiration. Nothing beats the kind of devotion that this army of bees had for their queen bee, making them follow one Carol Howarth for almost 2 days.
When Carol visited a nature reserve, she didn't know that her Mitsubishi Outlander would bring back a queen bee as a hostage. She parked her car in the centre of Haverfordwest, West Wales around lunchtime and was off to do a bit of shopping.
That's when about 20,000 insects descended onto her car and latched onto its surface. Not only was it quite the spectacle for people walking by, but it also caught the attention of Tom Moses, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park ranger, who was concerned about the bees and tried to do something about safely removing them. "Bee-rilliant swarmathon!" he wrote in a Facebook post. "Driving through town noticed this going on outside the Lower Three Crowns and couldn't resist getting involved! (bees need our help and I worried that some idiot would come pour boiling water over them or something stoopid!)."
It took the efforts of around 4 beekeepers and a number of bee stings to get the situation under control. "It is fair to say I had a sting in the tale - I was stung to my head, neck and the back of my ears. But I took some anti-histamines and they are not too bad now,” Tom said, according to The Telegraph.
But things did not end there. Once Carol came back to her car, she drove back home thinking that things were back to normal, only to realize the next day morning that the bees had followed her home this time. The bees were covering the car once again, and Carol was forced to get in touch with beekeepers once again. By 6 pm that day, they were finally able to confirm that the bees wouldn't return once more.
If you're wondering what happened to the queen, Carol and the beekeepers are still unsure of her whereabouts. When she spoke of the incident, Carol said, "One theory was that the queen was trapped in my car and the swarm were following. But they couldn't find the queen anywhere so I've no idea if that was right."
She also added, "I still don't really understand why because they couldn't see the queen anywhere. Perhaps they just like the heat of my car."
Tom assumed that the queen bee might have been looking for a new hive and may have considered making the Mitsubishi her next 'home sweet home', according to CNN. While it's natural for bees to follow their queen, the beekeepers added that it was the first time they saw a swarm of bees go to such great lengths.
"It is possible the queen had been attracted to something in the car - perhaps a sweet or food in the car," said Roger Burns, of Pembrokeshire Beekeepers. "The swarm of around 20,000 had followed her and were sat around on the boot of the car."
65-year-old retired GP Roger said, "I have been beekeeping for 30 years and I have never seen a swarm do that. It is natural for them to follow the queen but it is a strange thing to see and quite surprising to have a car followed for two days. It was quite amusing."
Carol, who probably never thought that her trip to the nature reserve would lead her car to be chased by bees, also admitted that she had “never seen anything like it.”