Postbox reopens, but will the bees be back?

The postbox in Hill View Lane, Billington
The postbox in Hill View Lane, Billington

Residents are able to swarm safely to their local postbox again as the bees that had caused its closure have either hibernated or finally buzzed off.

The postbox in Hill View Lane, Billington had been taped up since August and villagers had got a real bee in their bonnet about the ongoing saga.

The box had been covered in black and yellow tape, with a sign informing locals that it was out of service and an engineer had been asked to attend.

But no action was taken over the large hive of bees in the nearby tree, with Royal Mail simply stating that they were keen to reopen the box when it was safe, but wouldn’t be taking any direct action.

Central Beds Council said the hive wasn’t their responsibility and they had informed Bedfordshire Beekeepers’ Association about the situation. However the Association said it hadn’t been made aware of the issue, but invited Royal Mail to make contact with them.

One villager told the LBO that it was to much relief that he’d noticed the postbox finally open again this week.

After seeing broken bark on the tree, brown staining in the area and a rubber glove in the vicinity he speculated if someone had intervened to remove the bees.

But Royal Mail told the LBO the bees seem to have moved on their own accord.

Royal Mail spokesperson Sally Hopkins said: “Royal Mail can confirm this postbox was reopened on Saturday 30 December as the bees are no longer nesting nearby so customers and our collection team can use it without risk of injury.”

Wally Thrale, from the Beekeepers’ Association, said Royal Mail had never been in touch following the group’s invite.

But he warned that the problem may return in the spring as the bees could simply be in hibernation.

He said: “They don’t fly much in the winter. They may die out depending on how much store of honeycomb they have to survive the winter.

“Time will tell if they have survived and start flying again.

“If it was a hole in the tree, you wouldn’t notice them during winter. Once the weather warms up they will become active again if they have survived.”