Beekeeper Fee Robinson came to the rescue when a Royal Mail maintenance man spotted bees flying in and out of a post box in Lyneham this morning.

Miss Robinson, from the Wiltshire Bee Centre, used her expertise to re-home the bees that had started nesting in the postbox on Preston Lane.

She cut the nest free, scooped up the bees, and placed them in a special box before using smoke to mask pheromones secreted by the queen bee as a signal to other bees.

The scene attracted some interest from passers-by, joggers and drivers, who stared when they saw Miss Robinson wearing her protective face mask.

Miss Robinson said: “People did slow down as they drove past to do a double take.

“When the maintenance man went to open the box he saw them flying in and out of the slit.

"We opened up the box and the bees had started nesting.

“It took about two hours because I couldn’t afford to have any bees going back into that post box, because someone would have got a nasty surprise.

“If they hadn’t been removed they would have been quite happy living there. They wouldn’t have left of their own accord, it’s a perfect home for them.”

When a bee colony is strong enough it will raise a new queen and look for a new place to set up, often during the warmer weather in April, May and June.

Miss Robinson is busy collecting bee swarms during these months and also collected two more the same day, one in an apple tree and one in a small shrub.

She said: “I’ve done three today. It’s the first one in a post box, but I do collect a lot of swarms. The phone has not stopped for the last two weeks.”