RNAS Culdrose is known for being a hive of activity - but this was taken to a new level when a swarm of bees infiltrated the Helston naval base.

Air engineer Petty Officer Si Baker, who is responsible for the station's chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence cell, was met by the swarm who had taken up residence outside his office window, as he arrived for work.

Well aware that the warmer weather had encouraged the bees to move away from their customary hive, he immediately called a local bee keeper to help re-home the swarm.

Si said: "It was a bit worrying at first, but after a few phone calls we had it all under control. We are normally dressed in CBRN suits and respirators for our job, but this was a new experience for my team."

Soon after he put in the call to the West Cornwall Bee Keepers Association, Les Tonkin, the association's swarm co-ordinator, was on the scene checking to see what all the fuss was about.

Les said: "This turned out to be what's known as a 'cast of bees'. It was just a small swarm around a 'virgin queen'. She's surplus to the original hive where there's an older queen, so she's made a breakaway, followed by a small swarm from the main group."

Les effortlessly feathered the 'cast' of honey bees into a transit box and took them away to start another colony, hopefully next year when the queen is a bit more mature.

"It's a free service we provide for anyone who comes across swarms or casts in their gardens or houses. Bees have a difficult time starting up new colonies, so anything we can do to help is always appreciated," added Les.