Friday, 27 July 2012

Lawyers & Bees - Part 2

As a personal injury claims solicitor, I sometimes have to use that time-honoured legal phrase “it depends”. I don't like using it. Honestly. However sometimes it is actually the only one which fits. A client wants a simple answer. Even when there really isn't a simple answer to be had.

“Will my case settle? And for how much?”Well it depends on so many factors – including choices to be made by the other side. The value depends on the medical evidence yet to be obtained.

As a beekeeper, sometimes I have to say “it depends” as well.

I am on a list of people to be contacted to collect swarms of honey bees from the gardens of members of the public .So callers phone in, “Can you come and remove the swarm of bees in my garden?”

Out comes the time-honoured legal phrase.... And I ask a few more questions about the bees.

“Well there're dozens of them on the flowers on a bush in my garden.”

They're foraging. They're doing what bees. They're not swarming. Just leave them alone.

Further questioning: Are they the big fluffy ones? When you say”loads”, do you mean a few flying every minute or hundreds? I explain I am trying to work out if they are honey bees or bumblebees. The difference is not just a matter of words, but is fundamental to my advice.

If they are honey bees and they haven't already set up home in the wall cavity, I may be able to help. They can be relocated successfully.

If they are the big fluffy ones, they are bumblebees; and moving the nest normally results in its death. In any case, the bumblebee lifecycle means the colony will be gone by autumn. They are harmless. In fact most species are in trouble and all of them can do with a bit of help.

So can I help with someone's bee problem?

Well it depends....

Author: Derrik Harris (Solicitor - Birchall Blackburn)
Derrik Harris is a personal injury claims solicitor based in Birchall Blackburn's Preston office

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