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Looking back: Giant swarms that brought fear to Brighton and Hove
7:00pm Thursday 25th July 2013 in News
It is not uncommon for us Brits to be unnerved by a bumble bee buzzing nearby in the summer.
But in 2001 this swarm of bees terrified residents as they buzzed around their heads and into their homes.
People walked past oblivious until the swarm of bees flew into their faces, causing them to look up and see a buzzing mass above their heads.
Leigh Anne Walter, manager of The London Unity pub in Islingword Road, Brighton, saw thousands of bees fly in through her window.
She said: “I was sitting in the flat above the pub and they just appeared in the room.
“I'm quite scared of bees, so I panicked a bit and tried to shoo them away and my cats were trying to catch them.
“I got up to close the window and I noticed the sky was completely full of them. They were swarming everywhere.
“There were people panicking in the street because they were getting stuck in the middle of them and many started running away in terror.
“After about five minutes they just settled in the tree and they have been there ever since, quite calm. I don't think anybody has been stung.
“It was quite remarkable. I don't think I've ever seen so many bees in one place.”
Joe Samuel, piano technician at The Pianola Shop in Islingword Road had just popped out to get a sandwich when the bees swarmed into the street.
He described “thousands of them” which forced him to rush straight back into the shop and quickly close the door behind him.
However this is not the only time a swarm of bees has alarmed residents.
In June 1998 a giant swarm of 20,000 bees sent terrified pedestrians running for over in Hove.
Alarmed members of the public walking down Waterloo Street dashed to safety after the cloud of bees descended on a nearby car park.
Bee keeper Dr Gerald Legg, keeper of biology at the Booth Museum of Natural History in Dyke Road, Brighton, was called to the scene to catch the pesky critters.
ON THIS DAY
1909: Louis Bleriot became the first man to fly across the Channel, piloting his monoplane from near Calais to Northfall Meadow near Dover Castle.
1915: RFC Captain Lanoe Hawker becomes the first British military aviator to earn the Victoria Cross, for defeating three German two-seat observation aircraft in one day, over the Western Front.
1920: Telecommunications: the first transatlantic two-way radio broadcast takes place.
1978: Louise Brown, the world's first test tube baby is born 2010 WikiLeaks publishes classified documents about the War in Afghanistan, one of the largest leaks in US military history.
The Argus’ popular “Looking Back” feature has been compiled into an A4, soft back book which catalogues the events that have made their mark on the people of Sussex. The fascinating archive of “Looking Back” images dates back to the 1930s when The Argus first started to print photographs. The book costs £6.99 including postage and packing. To order please visit theargus.co.uk/store
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