Bees are one of the most amazing insects in nature today. Everyone has seen a bee at some point flying around in a yard, a field or near a nursery. They seem to be everywhere once the summer gets going. Bees live in highly structured hives and colonies. They each have a specific job to do to keep the other bees healthy, happy and safe. Bees are careful about nurturing the next generation in the hive. Bees see the world differently from human beings and can actually notice special features of flowers or plants. They live in subservience to a queen who is located in the hive producing offspring. Bees even have a special way of communicating that involves dancing.
What some people might not realize is that human beings rely on bees to survive. Bees are pollinators. This means they are responsible for transferring pollen between plants so that fruit grows. If bees were not around in the world today, then a massive percentage of crops would simply never produce fruit leading to famines. Bees are so efficient at pollinating flowers that humans have not yet come up with a way to do their job automatically beyond using manual methods over a very long period of time.
A 68-year-old woman named Carol Howarth recently decided to visit a nature preserve in Wales. She drove out to the preserve in her Mitsubishi Outlander. Carol drove around for some time looking at nature and enjoying the scenery. She ended her trip in the town of Haverfordwest in West Wales. She chose to do a little shopping in the town and thought everything was going fine. Carol did not come back to her car for an hour or two. She had no idea what was going on while she was enjoying her shopping excursion.
Tom Moses is a ranger for the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. He happened to be driving home through Haverfordwest while Carol was shopping. He saw a small group of people gathering around her car. He immediately realized that the back left corner of the car was covered in thousands of bees. All of the bees seemed to be there for a reason and were not just resting. This concerned Tom since someone might try something unwise or harmful to remove the bees from the vehicle. Tom decided to call some people he knew at the Pembrokeshire Beekeepers Association. They came right out.
The beekeepers used cardboard boxes and cardboard strips to carefully move most of the bees off the vehicle. They were going to be released somewhere else later. This was a good resolution since a drunk man attempted to swipe the bees off the car with his bare hand and was stung repeatedly. Carol returned and was thankful to the beekeepers. She went home as usual.
Carol woke up the next day and discovered that the bees had returned. They were in the same location on the outside of her car. She called the Pembrokeshire beekeepers again to come out and remove them. The association was able to finally remove all of the bees by the end of the day. Carol was relieved. She waited another day and the bees did not seem to return. She was mystified about what had happened and why they chose her Outlander.
The most likely explanation is that the queen bee for the hive was stuck inside the vehicle or decided that it was a good, warm place for a new hive. The other bees from the colony instinctually followed the queen bee as she was driven away. The bees then tried to coalesce around her to serve and protect the queen. It is not clear what happened to the queen in the end since the bees never came back.