Swarm alert: Slovenia's 'rapid bee response' team in action

One in 200 Slovenians is a beekeeper, and they’re fighting the decline of bees worldwide with an unprecedented programme – to make Ljubljana the world’s most bee-friendly capital

A storm is coming over the green hills that surround Ljubljana and it is making the bees anxious. Normally, urban beekeeper Gorazd Trušnovec would call it a day when the weather starts to turn. Instead, he is up a ladder, 12 metres (40 feet) above a city road, facing a squirming mass of bees in a tree top. He will have to shake them, together with the runaway queen bee, into a bucket.

Trušnovec is part of the Slovenian capital’s rapid bee response unit. He and six others are on call, ready to be dispatched through the emergency number 112 if a swarm escapes from an apiary. This can happen in big, thriving colonies when a queen bee, along with a team of workers, decides to strike out on her own.

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