A family from Madrid found rather more than they had bargained for when they arrived at their holiday residence in Torrevieja last Thursday. Sitting in the middle of the porch, their sofa was infested with a 25kg honeycomb of bees.

Because of the unusually large size of the infestation, the danger that it presented and the fact that at least one family member was allergic to wasps, the family immediately alerted the emergency services.

Torrevieja bomberas are accustomed to these situations and are fully equipped with special beekeeper equipment to avoid stings so the firefighters arrived at the house dressed in the appropriate clothing. They simply removed the queen from the swarm and place it in a large container. The remainder of the bees then followed their leader.

The house, which is only used as a holiday home, had been closed for a number of months so the bees had had all the time necessary to create the huge honeycomb, weighing 25 kilos. It was subsequently handed over to a beekeeper.

Bees carry out this type of swarming to create new hives as a natural mechanism to their reproduction of a colony anywhere that they have water and vegetation, especially in spring and summer. Although the rains have not been very intense in recent months they have been more frequent than usual. Normally bees are not dangerous if they are not disturbed but it is advisable to remove them from urban areas.

It should be remembered that bees are also a protected species, because they are essential to our life cycle, as such they cannot be destroyed. The swarm was simply moved to another location in the care of beekeepers.