Beekeeper councillor rids school of swarm
A KEEN beekeeper saved children at Otford Primary School from a swarm on Monday.
John Edwards-Winser, chairman of Otford Parish Council and a Sevenoaks District councillor, came to the rescue and fought off the bees, which were buzzing around a tree in the school grounds at 11am.
He was alerted after the school called the parish council office in the High Street to ask how to control the invasion.
The avid apiarist came to collect the bees and put them in his hive.
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"I just walked into the parish council office at the same time that the head teacher was calling to find out how to get rid of the bees," Mr Edwards-Winser said.
He slipped into his protective gear and went round to the school, which neighbours the parish office.
He continued: "It was ever so easy to sort out because it was hanging off a branch of a tree.
"All I had to do was get a cardboard box, put it under the nest, cut the branch and it landed in the box."
Mr Edwards-Winser, an experienced beekeeper of 25 years, had the problem solved within 30 seconds.
Natasha Caisley, head teacher at Otford Primary School said: "Our Year 6 children noticed that we had a bee swarm on an overhanging branch of a tree at the far side of the playground.
"John very kindly came over and we took the swarm as an opportunity for our pupils to experience the natural world around us in our local environment.
"John explained the mechanics of the swarm and then removed it so that the bees could be safely re-homed in a suitable hive.
"We were most grateful for his knowledge and skills, and delighted that this opportunity for learning opened up for children."