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Bee hive found inside boiler in Littleport (Photo)
Bee hive found inside boiler in Littleport

Bee hive found inside boiler in Littleport (Photo)

A heating engineer got the surprise of his life when he opened up a boiler – and was confronted by a swarm of 15,000 bees.

Colin Burbridge, 45, was puzzled when his new boiler stopped working just five months after it was fitted in the kitchen of his engineering firm, M8trix Precision Engineering.

He called somebody to the offices in Henry Crabb Road, Littleport, to fix the problem, but both he and the labourer were left stunned when they took off the boiler cover and discovered a huge bee hive inside.

Mr Burbridge quickly called local beekeepers Stuart and Carol Palmer who duly arrived to safely remove the colony.

Bee hive found inside boiler in Littleport photo

Carol, who works for a pharmaceutical firm, in Cambridge, said: “We haven’t been doing this a long time at all, we only started the beekeeping course in January so really and truly we are still learning.

“But we have bought all the gear and when we got the call we thought ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’.

“I asked for a bit of advice from more experience beekeepers and they advised that we cut out the comb from inside the boiler and encourage the bees to move that way.

“Fortunately, we were able to attract the vast majority into a nucleus box and they are now sitting happily in our garden, waiting to be transferred to their new hive.”

Carol suspects that the bees found their way into the boiler about six-to-eight weeks ago through a gap in the air intake pipe.

The bees will be Carol and Stuart’s second hive – their first only arrived in May – but the couple are confident the new arrivals will quickly settle in.

As for the boiler, Carol added that it was not quite up and running again yet.

She said: “They are continuing the clean-up job. There was a lot of honey in there so it was a bit of a sticky job!”


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