A video of a bee swarm settling on a car boot lid that has emerged on Chinese social media sites has sparked intense debates.
FOUR-WHEEL-HIVE: Swarm Makes Bee Line For Parked Car from News X on Vimeo.
The short clip was reportedly recorded in Nanyang, a city in the central province of Henan.
The owner of the white limousine had allegedly decided to drive off after having waited half an hour for emergency services to remove the aggregation of pollinators.
Numerous social network users have participated in an engaged debate over why the swarm chose this spot and whether the motorist had acted appropriately.
While one netizen wondered whether the colony’s queen bee had been in the trunk, another one said witnesses should have started to harvest the honey.
One social media user commented saying: “What do you do when you want to open the trunk?”
Another one claimed that the gathering of a honeybee colony meant “good fortune” in his hometown.
One comment just read: “Intensive phobia! So uncomfortable to watch.”
Swarming is, according to the British Beekeepers Association, a “natural process.”
The organisation explains: “It is the colony reproducing by the old queen leaving with some of the bees. They leave their hive and find somewhere to hang in a cluster until the scout bees decide on their new home.”
The organisation’s experts say that swarming usually occurs on warm sunny days.
They add: “Often there is a peak on a fine day after poor weather when temperatures approach the high teens.
“A real honeybee swarm can be extremely dramatic involving many thousands of bees in a large noisy cloud. However, they normally settle into a cluster within 15 minutes.”
Swarming bees are unlikely to sting humans unless they feel provoked, according to a renowned American entomologist.
Professor Emeritus Donald Lewis from Iowa State University said: “Swarms are temporary and the bees will move on if you patiently ignore them.”
He added: “Stay back and keep others away from the swarm, but feel free to admire and appreciate the bees from a safe distance.”