A BEEKEEPER has spoken of his anger after “hundreds and hundreds” of bees were killed by vandals in a Poole car park.

Jim Gardner, 53, from Poole, was called by the council to deal with a swarm of bees in the Dolphin Shopping Centre multi-storey car park last Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Gardner said there was a swarm of around 20,000 bees between the top deck and the level below which he put into a skep container so that he could return and collect them later that evening as there were too many bees flying around.

He said: “When you pick up a swarm, you put them into a skep, you get them in there and turn them upside down on a sheet with something. If you’ve got the queen in there the rest will go in but you can’t take them in the day because there are too many flying about so you leave them there until the evening. No cars could get up there because it was shut off and on the tower in front of the skep was a security camera.

“I went back about 7.50pm and there were two shopping trolleys there and my skep had gone. I went over and there were just piles of dead bees and bees everywhere and my skep had been knocked onto the lower level. There was a huge bit of wood that they’d somehow carried through the car park, I don’t know how, and that was just hanging between levels. It was about nine foot long. A lot of the bees were dead and my skep was broken.”

Mr Gardner said he reported the incident to police and had been told by security that children were behind it and they may have been captured on camera.

He said: “It’s just disheartening and upsetting and such an unnecessary bit of vandalism.”

“I tried to save as many bees as I could but there were just so many dead. It wasn’t a big swarm. Every swarm is good, we need them. They are very, very special. I just love picking up swarms and I love getting people interested in swarms. You’ve got to educate people but I don’t think you could educate these type of idiots unfortunately,” he added.

Mr Gardner, who is known as the ‘bee man’, has been collecting swarms across Dorset for around four years and has so far been called out around 20 times so far this year.

He said: “They (bees) are an amazing thing. They are just beautiful, they are all these different shapes and I meet amazing people and go to amazing places because of this little thing that we should be looking after.”

The bees he managed to rescue are now in a hive in his garden.

Dorset Police said the reported incident occurred sometime between 3pm and 8.30pm on Wednesday, May 29.

A spokesperson said: “Enquiries are ongoing into the incident.”