York & North Yorkshire

Felled Jacob Smith Park oak reveals colony of bees

Collecting bees from the tree roots
Image caption The tree will remain "ecologically valuable" for years said the council

A 200-year-old oak tree has fallen in a North Yorkshire park revealing a large nest of about 6,000 honeybees.

The tree in Jacob Smith Park in Scriven, near Knaresborough was probably felled by underground root decay, said Harrogate Borough Council.

The bees were spotted after the tree was uprooted.

Chris McDevitt, of the Harrogate & Ripon Beekeepers' Association, "smoked" the bees to make them docile before taking them to a new hive.

Paul Casey, the council's arboricultural manager, said the tree trunk would be left to decay in the park and would remain "immensely ecologically valuable" for years to come.

"Some of the roots may still be attached, so it may still sprout leaves on the remainder of its live branches. Time will tell," he said.

The 30 acres of walled parkland with a number of ancient trees were opened in January 2008 after being bequeathed for public use.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites