SECURITY measures are being taken at Worcester’s new library and history centre to protect it from the swarms of bees attracted to the building during the recent warm spring sunshine.

Appropriately called the Hive, the complex off the Butts is proving irresistible to the furry flyers because of its gold roof tiles laid in a honeycomb pattern.

Project manager Ivor Lavender said: “I must admit it’s a problem we never anticipated – I thought bees had better eyesight than that.

“It first became apparent last week when workers on the roof suddenly heard a loud buzzing noise.

“They assumed it was a helicopter going over, but then this huge swarm of bees began to descend out of the sky.

“One of the chaps tried to swat them away with his copy of the Racing Post, but there were too many and work had to be abandoned for the day.”

The swarm disappeared overnight, but another mass of bees appeared the following morning, leading to concerns they could delay progress on what is the first joint public and university library in Europe.

To deter the intruders, contractors are covering the roof with a special silicone, which creates a very slippery surface so the bees slide off it as soon as they land, encouraging them to fly away.

“Of course, this means roofers will never be able to get up there to mend it,” said Mr Lavender. “But that’s a price we’ll have to pay.”

However, Miss Honey Potts, secretary of Pitchcroft Car Park Nature Watch committee, was unhappy.

“Bees have rights, you know,” she said. “I don’t want to go droning on, but if I find any have slid off this roof and broken their legs, I will be writing to the BBC.”