There was a real buzz about Bellaghy Primary School on Monday, when staff and students arrived to find that 50,000 bees had enrolled.
Principal, Mary-Lou Richmond, said she thought the new hive, which was draped over a tree branch near the schools entrance, was “an old scarf” when she first saw it.
But after some investigation, and spotting a number of new bee-students buzzing around, she realised what it was.
And the discovery sparked some very interesting learning about bees at the school.
“We actually were quite worried to bring the children out to look at it in case they would get stung, so we took photographs of it,” Mrs Richmond told the Mail.
“Some of them had noticed it on the way in and wondered what it was, and then we looked at it this morning (Monday) and after some sort of investigation noticed it was bees.
“They were quite excited by it all and we have been doing a little bit of learning about bees on the back of it all.”
But since the new beehive, couldn’t stay at the school for safety reasons, Mrs Richmond said they “got in touch with the council to see what we should do because we didn’t want to destroy them”.
“We were told that everything would be fine so long as it wasn’t disturbed, so we made sure the children weren’t playing football anywhere near it,” she explained.
And as for whose bees they were, she added: “Our caretaker knew that James Milligan was a beekeeper who lives nearby - 500 yards away.”
But as he wasn’t able to come for them, another local beekeeper David Arrall, came to the school’s rescue.
As for how they came to move to the school, he said: “This time of the year they build Queen cells.
“There could be six or seven Queen cells and when they arrive, the old Queen goes away and leaves it to the new Queen.”
This hive, he said was that breakaway contingent, adding that: “You could have 50,000 bees in there.
As the Mail watched on, an excited Mr Arrall, cut the branch and stowed the bees safely in a basket for collection later.