Swarm of Bees Chases Car for Two Days

July 30, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. swarm / swɔrm / (n.) – a large group of insects flying or moving together
Example: Parents warn their children to stay away from swarms of ants.

2. descend / dɪˈsɛnd / [dih-SEND] (v.) – to go down
Example: The car carefully descended down the hill.

3. enthusiast / ɛnˈθu ziˌæst / (n.) – someone who is very interested in something
Example: Many sports enthusiasts are planning to watch the Olympics.

4. colony / ˈkɒl ə ni / (n.) – a group of plants or animals living in one area
Example: Each honeybee colony has only one queen.

5. instinct / ˈɪn stɪŋkt / (n.) – a natural way of behaving or feeling
Example: The kid’s first instinct was to run away from the dog.  


Read the text below.
A swarm of around 20,000 bees has reportedly chased down the car of an old woman for two days, supposedly to rescue their queen, which was assumed to be trapped inside.

Carol Howarth parked her car in a town in West Wales to do some shopping after visiting a nature reserve. While the 65-year old woman was away, around 20,000 bees descended on the back of her car, forming a large brown spot. Tom Moses, a national park ranger, noticed the spot on Howarth’s car while he was driving through.

Being a bee enthusiast, Moses called the Prembrokeshire Beekeeper’s Association because he was worried that someone would hurt the bees. Moses and two other beekeepers successfully got the swarm into a box and took it back to the national park.

However, Howarth called the beekeepers the next morning when she discovered the bees covering her car again. According to her, one theory being considered is that the bees were following their queen, which was possibly trapped inside her vehicle. Roger Burns, one of the beekeepers, said that the queen bee must have been attracted to something sweet in the car and got into a gap in the trunk or hinge. According to him, it is natural for bees to follow their queen. Queen bees produce a “bee perfume” called pheromones, and these pheromones attract members of a colony. This creates a strong instinct among bees to follow their queen.

However, the beekeepers could not find the queen bee anywhere in Howarth’s car, so it is possible that there is a different reason why the bees were attracted to the car. Howarth suspects that the bees might have just liked the car’s heat.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         If you were Mrs. Howarth, what would you do upon seeing the swarm of bees in your car?
·         Do you agree with the decision of the beekeepers to bring the bees back to the nature reserve?

Discussion B

·         Do you think that protecting insects, such as bees, is important? Why or why not?
·         Aside from bees, what other insects should be protected?

July 30, 2016