A man who hung up his clothes to dry has been left dumbfounded after realising that a swarm of bees destroyed one of his T-shirts.
The footage from Seng Thai’s home in Battambang, northwestern Cambodia, reveals the thousands of pollinators not only gathered on the pink piece of clothing. The swarm also gnawed a 25-centimetre hole into the batik fashion item.
Seng said: “I noticed a few bees coming in and out of our old cabinet but I didn’t mind them. While I was looking for a shirt, I checked inside and found the big ball. My shirt was destroyed too.”
Dr Robert Brodschneider from the Institute of Biology at Graz University, Austria, told NewsX: “That’s remarkable! it’s obvious that the bees have been at this spot for several days as they’ve already started to build combs.”
Dr Brodschneider – whose research focuses on the monitoring of honeybee colony losses – added: “The bees have chosen this location as their home and built a nest. This is anything but ideal since honeybees are cavity-nesting insects.”
Octavio Re – who is a biologist and beekeeper in Mallin in Argentine’s central Cordoba province – assumes that the filmed insects are western honeybees (Apis mellifera).
Speaking to NewsX, Octavio said: “It is possible to see that, between the two garments, they are building honeycombs or nests.”
He explained: “Analysing it from a logical point of view, I can say that the holes are there for the growth of the population. They did that to have more space.”
Octavio concluded: “It is still something that is not seen very often, so it is curious.”
Asked by NewsX to evaluate the incident, he said: “The swarm has been sitting there for a while. You can see the freshly built honeycombs. Usually, a swarm would use such a location only to gather before relocating somewhere else.”
Herbert suspects that this colony eventually decided to settle on the clothesline after having been unable to find an appropriate spot.
Vienna-based apiarist Dr Matthias Kopetzky agrees. He told News X: “If you watch the video carefully, you realise that the swarm settled down between two T-shirts. This does make sense. They probably could not find a more suitable location. The two pieces of clothing offer them cave-like conditions.
Dr Kopetzky – who recently received an award for his vinegar-honey syrup Oxymel – added: “The fact that they’ve already built honeycombs tells us that they’ve surely been there for several days.”