|The beehive on the cornice of a window on the third floor of the district collectorate (above) in Northern Town on Wednesday poses serious threat to visitors. (Bhola Prasad)
From being a hub of administrative activities, the East Singhbhum district collectorate in Jamshedpur has literally become a hive of risky business, thanks to busy bees.
The honey-making sting army has turned the cornice of a window at the three-storey building in Northern Town, Bistupur, their strong base for the past eight months. Their giant hive on the third floor overlooks the Jubilee Park and threatens everyone within close radius.
“Achanak ek madhu-makhi aakar mandrane lagi aur isse pehle ki hum kuch kar paate usne hamare ek member ko kat liya. Baad mein pata chala ki madhu-makhiyon ka ek chhatha district collectorate building mein hi hai (All of a sudden, a honey bee started buzzing over our heads. Before we could drive it away, it stung one of our members. We later learnt about the beehive at the district collectorate building),” said Mahila Jagriti Manch member Babita Devi who, along with 500 other women, was protesting against irregularities in ration card distribution on Monday afternoon.
Officials at the collectorate sounded clueless.
“We don’t know where these bees have come from. We also do not know who to approach to get rid of their hive. It is at a great height. Local youths cannot climb three floors and take it out,” said Navin Kumar, district president of Jharkhand Anusachiviya Karmachari Sangh.
The collectorate hosts several key offices including that of the deputy commissioner, additional deputy commissioners, deputy development commissioner, district welfare officer, district rural development authorities, additional district magistrate and district information officer.
According to Kumar, the bees buzzed around on every floor. “They pose threat to visitors. Adequate measures must be taken at the earliest to destroy the hive,” he said. The collectorate witnesses a daily footfall of around 500.
Deputy development commissioner Lal Mohan Mahto claimed he was stung about a week ago. “I cannot say exactly whether it was a bee or any other insect, but the sting caused enormous pain. I will speak to experts and ask them how to destroy this hive,” he told The Telegraph.
Jusco, the civic utility wing of Tata Steel, might just be the right outfit for the job.
Spokesperson Rajesh Rajan said they had not yet received any official complaint from the district administration regarding any beehive. “Once we get that, we will take necessary action,” he added.
According to experts, honeybees are less active at night and that is the best time to launch an attack on their nest. A potent insecticide needs to be sprayed on the hive till the bees are dead. If the hive is up on a wall, it needs to be brought down with a long pole and then burnt.
“It is advisable to wear full-length clothes and gloves, and use face nets during such an operation to avoid being stung,” an expert said. He added that once the hive was removed, the spot needed to be sanitised to prevent a new swarm from tracking the scent of the former colony and setting up their own hive.