Around 50,000 bees had to be rehomed as part of work to refurbish Elland Library.
The town’s library is currently undergoing a £1.75million refurbishment, transforming the building into a community hub providing a range of services.
Work has been taking place to replace the building’s ageing roof tiles and during this process, a large honeybee nest was discovered.
To protect the bees and remove the nest safely, the Council was supported by Crest Pest Control. They enlisted the help of local honey suppliers Joyce Jones, which offered to rehome the bees in one of their hives in Norland.
Between 45,000 and 50,000 bees were in the colony and their hive took up a 10-foot by 4-foot space in the roof. It’s estimated that the insects had made Elland Library their home for around five years.
It took beekeepers Joe Willerton and Sebrina Gibbons seven hours to successfully remove the bees and over 50kg of honey and comb were also removed as part of the process.
Calderdale Council’s Leader, Cllr Tim Swift, said:
“The contractors working to replace the roof as part of our refurbishment of Elland Library, had a real surprise when they discovered thousands of bees and a huge nest amongst the rafters.
“We know how important it is to protect this precious species and so we contacted local experts to ensure the bees were safely and carefully rehomed.
“The removal process wasn’t an easy task, as the bees clearly felt at home in Elland Library, but I’m pleased they’re now safely rehomed in hives in Norland.
“We can now continue with the exciting transformation of Elland Library and look forward to welcoming residents back to the new and improved facility next year.”
The bees have now been safely rehomed, meaning work can continue on wider refurbishment works at the library.
The new roof will include special energy efficient panels and new windows are being installed throughout the building.
The first floor is being brought back into use and the library space is being completely updated. The Greater Elland Historical Society’s history room is also being refurbished with the archives and photos carefully retained, to be replaced once work is complete.
Work initially began at the end of February 2020, but unfortunately had to be paused during lockdown. Following an assessment of safe working procedures, work recommenced in late-June and should be finished by next spring.