Do You Have a Swarm?
So you think you have a swarm of bees which need removing? Don't panic! we are here to help.
Beekeepers are often approached about winged, flying creatures, especially in the spring and summer period. Most beekeepers will collect a swarm either free of charge or for a small fee to cover the fuel costs.
What should I do?
If you think you have a swarm, the first thing to do is make sure that you are dealing with honey bees, not bumblebees, wasps or any other flying insect. The BBKA provides a guide to help identify what species you are working with here.
They are definitely honey bees, now what?
Please see below for the contact details of RBKA volunteers open to collecting swarms, and the areas they cover. If our volunteers are unable to help they will endeavor to locate another local beekeeper who is able to attend to your swarm ASAP.
Why do honey bees swarm?
Swarming is the natural way for honey bees to reproduce, expand and form new colonies. It appears chaotic and can be quite frightening to witness, however since swarming bees currently have no hive, brood or honey to protect they are actually much less likely to sting while swarming. They can however still be a nuisance and alarming to the public so it is good beekeeping practice to discourage swarming behavior.
When bees feel their current home is getting cramped they start to think about raising a new young queen bee and splitting the colony in two. When this happens, half of the bees (which can number approximately 70,000 in total at its peak in July) will leave their home along with their queen, leaving behind the new young queen and the rest of the workers. These bees then begin the process of searching for a new home.
Honey bees are vital pollinators and are endangered in the UK. If you come across a swarm looking for a new home please contact one of our volunteers above or the BBKA to arrange for them to be safely collected.