Photos and video taken at Bletchley’s Doune House resemble a scene from the horror movie Candyman, where producers used thousands of real bees and most of the crew wore coveralls for protection.
But in real life, residents of social apartments lack this protection and live in fear of being bitten.
Every time they open their windows, hundreds of bees swarm, while a dense carpet of creatures sometimes covers the floor of the common areas.
A colony has taken up residence near the communal gates, making it difficult for people to enter. Meanwhile, thousands more live in the wall cavities, keeping residents awake with their loud hum.
Yet, because the nests are so high on the third floor, no beekeeper can reach them to move them. And, because bees are endangered, they are considered untouchable and it would not be ethical to kill them.
Colonies have returned to Duone House every year for the past four years and locals describe it as ‘living in a nightmare’.
“Year after year the bees come back and this year there are now three hives,” said Kayley Harding, who is 30 and lives on the top floor.
“MK Council won’t do anything because they’re honey bees and it’s too expensive to remove them. They’re too tall for beekeepers to collect so we’re stuck with them. It’s awful.”
Kayley’s neighbor, Kerry Knibbs, is allergic to bee stings and constantly wears an epipen. Last year she was bitten and had to be rushed to hospital in an ambulance.
Today, after residents contacted the Citizen, the MK Council agreed to temporarily relocate Kerry and her two young daughters, aged four and 10.
Kayley said: “Bees are a risk to life. My own daughter has special needs and serious skin issues. She is terrified of them.
“It’s really just the start of the bees for the summer. We have to keep our windows closed all the time and in this heat it’s a killer.”
The apartments, which are in Torre Close, have a communal garden but there are so many bees the children cannot play there, Kayley said.
“It’s not fair to me and my neighbors to have to go through this year and another year… If the council can’t move the bees, they have to turn these apartments into a beehive and move us residents.
“It’s just not fair that we are expected to live like this. We know honey bees are important, but they are seriously ruining our lives in these apartments.”
A beekeeper visited the site today and confirmed there were four colonies with an estimated total of 30,000 bees. All colonies are too high to move, he says.
“He also said that even if all the bees were killed, more would come back and we’d have the same problem again in no time,” Kerry said.
The citizen asked the MK Council what they planned to do about the bees.
A spokesperson told us, “We are aware of the issue and are working on solutions to resolve the issue.”