In a five-hour exercise, a 15-member team destroyed bee hives that have been worrying morning walkers at the Tower Park. D. Madhavan reports

For a fortnight now, visitors to Dr. Visveswaraya Tower Park (popularly known as the Anna Nagar Tower Park) feel not only relaxed but also safe. Swamps of bees that have been striking terror in them have been smoked out.

Undertaken as a combined effort of a team of officials from fire services and Chennai Corporation, it has thus ended the three-year long ordeal for visitors, who have been frequently attacked by bees.

The Hindu Downtown had highlighted the issue in its May 11 edition.

A meeting with various stakeholders, including residents, civic officials, fire fighters, the police and the forest department, was organised by the Corporation to plan and coordinate in to removing the beehives from the tower park complex.“Usually, beehives are found on top of high-rise buildings, trees and hillocks. This is mainly to avoid contact with others including humans. With the tower being locked for a few years now, it became convenient for bees to build hives there,” said a forest official.The team decided to smoke out the bees from its hives after sunset as bees would gather only after sunset and, more importantly, it would be safer for them. “We started the exercise around 6.30 p.m. and it took nearly five hours to completely destroy the hives. A continuous drive should be carried out to ensure bees do not form hives again,” said N. Velayudam, overseer of the park.  Interestingly, the team found beehives not only on the 12th floor of the tower but also in trees and the skating rink.