Video shows 30,000 'untouchable' honey bees in Milton Keynes flats making residents’ lives a misery like a scene from Candyman

Residents in a block of flats have spoken out about the nightmare of living with four huge colonies of honey bees that nobody can destroy.

By Sally Murrer
Monday, 20th June 2022, 5:19 pm

Photos and videos taken in Bletchley’s Doune House are like a scene from horror film Candyman, where producers used thousands of real bees throughout and most of the crew wore bodysuits to protect themselves.

But in real life, the people in the council-owned flats have no such protection and live in fear of getting stung.

Every time they open their windows hundreds of bees invade, while a dense mat of the creatures sometimes covers the floor of communal areas.

The bees swarm inside the flats as soon as a window is opened

A colony has taken up residence by the communal doors, making it difficult for people to enter. Meanwhile thousands more are living in the wall cavities, keeping residents awake with their loud buzzing.

Yet, because the nests are so high up on the third floor, no beekeeper can reach them to relocate them. And, because the bees are endangered, they are deemed untouchable and it would not be ethical to kill them.

The colonies have returned to Duone House every year for the past four years and residents describe it as “living in a nightmare.”

“Year after year the bees come back and this year there’s now three hives,” said Kayley Harding, who is 30 and lives on the top floor.

The bees pictured in a residents' bathroom

"MK Council won’t do anything because they’re honey bees and it costs too much money to remove them. They’re too high up for bee keepers to collect them so we’re stuck with them. It’s horrible.”

Kayley’s neighbour, Kerry Knibbs, is allergic to bee stings and constantly carries an epipen. Last year she was stung and had to be rushed to hospital in an ambulance.

Today, after residents contact the Citizen, MK Council has agreed to temporarily move Kerry and her two young daughters, who are aged four and 10.

Kayley said: “The bees are a risk to life. My own daughter has special needs as well as sever skin conditions. She is terrified of them.

The colonies are all too high to reach

"This is only really the start of the bees for summer. We have to keep our windows closed all the time and in this heat is a killer.”

The flats, which are in Torre Close, have a communal garden but it is so swarming with bees that the children cannot play out there, said Kayley.

"It’s not fair for me and my neighbours to have to go through this year and year again...If the council can’t move the bees they need to turn these flats into a beehouse and move us residents.

"It’s just not fair that we should be expected to live like this. We know honey bees are important but they are seriously ruining our lives in these flats.”

Most of the bees are on the third floor

A beekeeper visited the site today and confirmed there were four colonies with an estimated total of 30,000 bees. All the colonies are too high to move, he said.

"He also said that even if all the bees were killed, more would come back and we’d have the same problem again in no time,” said Kerry.

The Citizen asked MK Council what they planned to do about the bees.

A spokesman told us: “We’re aware of the issue and are looking into solutions to resolve the matter.”