Thousands of honeybees found new home after old oak tree topples

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A 200-YEAR-OLD oak tree has fallen in a Yorkshire park and has revealed a nest of over 6,000 honeybees.

A resident spotted the bees after the old tree mysteriously uprooted at Jacob Smith Park in Scriven, near Knaresborough, and contacted the Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers Association.

Beekeeper Chris McDevitt “smoked” the bees to make them extra docile and they are now being housed in a new hive back at his apiary.

A spokesman for Harrogate Borough Council, which maintains the 30-acre park, said: “Contacting the beekepers association proved to be a wise move as the bees would not have survived if left unchecked and the important hive would have been lost.”

The council says it does not know why the tree fell because no strong winds have been recorded and there have been no signs of decay.

The authority is now planning to carry out work in an attempt to preserve the fallen oak.

Harrogate Borough Council’s arboricultural manager, Paul Casey, said: “Some of the roots may still be attached, so it may still sprout leaves on the remainder of its live branches. Time will tell. And if it doesn’t, it’s still a fantastic piece of important habitat within the park.”