By Crystal Chung @crystalkchung
Scroll down for the full story
The queens of the jungle were reclining by a watering hole when the swarm descended and disrupted the peace.
The series of images, captured by wildlife photographer Andrew Forsyth, show the lions unable to defend themselves against the bees, being too slow to bite them and getting frustrated in the heat.
The African bee is known to be more aggressive than European honey bees and while their sting is no more venomous, they usually attack in greater numbers and target more frequently.
Andrew said: “It was like watching a contest between a lightweight and heavyweight boxer, with the lightweight just moving around scoring with little jabs that slowly wore the opponent down.”
Snapped in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa, the Kalahari lions are relatively easy to spot with daytime temperatures in the excess of 40 degrees celsius.
Andrew, 47, said: “Lions spend much of their daytime sleeping so for wildlife photographers most our time with lions is spent waiting for something interesting to happen."
"The intervention of the bees provided some welcome entertainment, although the lions weren’t amused.”
During the process of photographing the animals, Andrew himself was stung by one of the bees.
He said: “The bees came to investigate me whilst I was taking pictures one stung me right on the back. I had to take care to remove the dead bee as they release a pheromone that signals the other bees to attack.
“It only took a handful of these aggressive insects buzzing around the lions’ faces and inside their nostrils to ruin the siesta, they eventually decided to up-sticks and retreat to the dunes.”