Busy bees alive and buzzing in the Vale

Cotswold Journal: ALIVE AND KICKING: Pest controller Michael Pincher with some of the thousands of bees he has in his garden. ALIVE AND KICKING: Pest controller Michael Pincher with some of the thousands of bees he has in his garden.

DESPITE numbers being in sharp decline across the country, bees seem more than happy to make their home in the Vale, according to a man who has collected 100,000 in a fortnight.

The falling numbers of the insect have hit the headlines recently with a national Bee Summit held by Friends of the Earth last week and its Bee Cause campaign was recently backed by Mid- Worcestershire MP Peter Luff.

However, Michael Pincher, better known as Mickey the Moler, a pest controller from Pershore, says things are looking good for bees in the Vale.

In the current ‘swarming season’ he has been on a number of call-outs across the area to collect more than 100,000 bees. The first call came from Worcester City Council when 20,000 bees were spotted near a bench under St Andrew’s Spire, off Deansway.

Mr Pincher, of Broad Street, said: “The bees are very docile when they swarm so you don’t need protection.

Everyone thinks you are mad but you know what they don’t.

“I cut the branch down and tip them into the box. I had the box of bees, about 20,000 and was waiting for about 300 in the air to come down.

“People are worried about the bees dying off but they seem to be doing ok in the Vale. At one point I had 100,000 bees in my garden. I still have four hives, with honey bees, and three nests of bumble bees.”

The area appears to be bucking the national trend and at the Bee Summit, held last Friday, a petition signed by more than 20,000 people called for a new action plan to be announced to ensure the decline in numbers is not terminal .

The plea was answered and Environment Minister Lord de Mauley has since announced a national pollinator strategy.

Peter Luff has also thrown his support behind the campaign. He said: “I’m not surprised bees are creating such a buzz in Worcestershire.

After all, our growers depend on the bees’ free pollination services for their crops.”

Friends of the Earth’s head of campaigns Andrew Pendleton said: “We’re delighted that Peter Luff is listening...  and has pledged to help save bees, especially the Long-horned Bee.

“Bees are vital to our food supply, green spaces and economy.”

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