'Living nightmare' for woman with bee phobia as swarm spreads through flat

Tara Skyring in her kitchen where the bees are collecting on the window sill from their nest in her

Tara Skyring in her kitchen where the bees are collecting on the window sill from their nest in her bathroom vent - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

A 26-year-old claims she is living in constant fear and unable to sleep after tens of thousands of bees invaded her home. 

Tara Skyring, of Woodhill Rise in Norwich, has a crippling phobia of the insects. 

And now the constant sound of honeybees buzzing inside her walls, under her kitchen cupboards and inside her bathroom has caused her life to become “a living nightmare”. 

And her pleas to the city council have failed as the authority does not provide pest control services for bees.

The bee nest in the vent above Tara Skyring's bathroom window. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The bee nest in the vent above Tara Skyring's bathroom window. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Now the swarm - which could number as many of 20,000 or even more  - has started spreading to neighbours’ homes inside the block. 

Miss Skyring said: "I cry a lot of the time and ring my mum. I have got to the point where I honestly do not know what to do anymore."

The terrified tenant lives in a council-owned property but the council claims it cannot help.

Bees on the window sill from their nest in Tara Skyring's bathroom vent. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Bees on the windowsill from their nest in Tara Skyring's bathroom vent. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

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A spokesman for the city council confirmed it does not provide a pest control service for bees. 

He advised Miss Skyring to contact a pest control service or a local beekeeper association.

But Miss Skyring, who is currently not in work due to her health, is unable to afford a private pest control service and has already been visited by helpless beekeepers.

Tara Skyring fed up with the council's response to the bee nest inside the bathroom vent at her flat

Tara Skyring fed up with the council's response to the bee nest inside the bathroom vent at her flat in Norwich. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The 26-year-old, who lives on her own, had been aware of the bees for three years, but she said the issue has become unbearable since May. 

She added: "I am keeping all my windows shut and the flat gets extremely hot. The bathroom window is shut at all times.

"There are swarms where my stairs are outside and I have to run without them flying into my head.

"The council said they would take the bricks out when the bees have gone which kind of defeats the object." 

Tara Skyring has taped up the bathroom vent on the inside trying to stop bees from the nest coming i

Tara Skyring has taped up the bathroom vent on the inside trying to stop bees from the nest coming into the flat - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The sleepless tenant is on the council's housing list and has been trying to move out of the flat because of the bees. 

A dedicated bee removal page on the city council website can be found at www.norwich.gov.uk/info/20206/pest_control/2339/bees.

Tara Skyring outside her flat in Norwich where there is a bee nest high up in the vent above her bat

Tara Skyring outside her flat in Norwich where there is a bee nest high up in the vent above her bathroom window - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

What beekeepers think

Sprowston beekeeper James Croft is among those who are listed by the British Beekeepers Association [BBKA] to receive calls to move swarms. 

He said every case needs to be self-assessed and there is not one size fits all resolution for each swarm.

Beekeeper James Croft, from Sprowston, who says there has been an increase in swarms due to the hot

Beekeeper James Croft from Sprowston - Credit: Danielle Booden

"For me I get them when they are still really fresh setting up the colony whether this one could be well established," Mr Croft said. 

"I have sympathy for her Tara as she has been put under stress and in this dilemma it is difficult to know what to do for the best."

Ron King, who is also a beekeeper in Sprowston, said: "There is nothing you can do if it is established in the walls. 

Ron King, a beekeeper who makes his own honey in Sprowston 

Ron King, a beekeeper who makes his own honey in Sprowston - Credit: Contributed

"The only thing you can do is have them destroyed if they are being a nuisance apart from taking the house apart.

"I am not an expert in destroying bees though. I try to keep them alive."

One of the bees on the window sill from their nest in Tara Skyring's bathroom vent. Picture: DENISE

One of the bees on the windowsill from their nest in Tara Skyring's bathroom vent - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

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