Click here get to the BBKA Swarm Page!

Between April and July honeybees may swarm.  They do this in order to reproduce and increase their genetic diversity.  The old queen leaves the hive with approximately half the bees, and the bees left in the hive make a new queen.  The new queen will mate with between 10 to 20 drones from hives in the area and this ensures the genetic diversity of the new hive.  Meanwhile the old queen and her workers find a temporary resting place, usually within about 100m from the old hive, where they hang in a large football shaped cluster from a branch, on a wall or pole, or any other  likely resting place and send out scout bees to find a suitable new home.  They could remain in this location for a few hours or up to 3 or 4 days.  

If you see bees in this cluster please contact a beekeeper to come and collect them and re-hive them, or they may find themselves an (unsuitable) home in someone's chimney or shed. To do this click on this link which will take you to the British Beekeepers Swarm page.

 

Identification

If you are not sure that what you have seen is a honeybee swarm, please also click on the above link which will help you identify what you have seen.

Need someone to remove a swarm?

A swarm of honeybeesIf you think you have seen a swarm of honeybees and would like to contact a local beekeeper to collect them go to the BBKA Do You Have A Swarm page. 

Please be aware that these beekeepers collect swarms on a voluntary basis.  They will not charge you for collecting the swarm, but they may ask for a token amount to cover their expenses.

The beekeeper's insurance does not cover them for collecting bees from high or dangerous locations.  Also, if the bees are already establishing a colony in the fabric of a building, it may not be possible to remove them.  If this is the case, and they are causing a real nuisance, they will need to be removed by a specialist Pest Control firm.  You can find details of a local firm on the web or from a local telephone directory.

 

 

Looking to acquire a swarm?

If you are member of this branch (Rugby) and you are looking to acquire a swarm of bees visit this page.


BeeBase

Beebase News Web feed
  • Seasonal Bee Inspector (SBI) vacancies
    22 September 2022
    The National Bee Unit currently has a Seasonal Bee Inspector (SBI) vacancies advertised in:
    • Wales: Whole country, but particularly north and Ceredigion.
    • South West: Whole region
    • West: Avon, Staffordshire, Shropshire
    • East: Norfolk, but particularly north
    • North East: Lincolnshire, East Yorkshire
    • North West: Greater Sheffield area (SW Yorkshire, NW Derbyshire)
    • Central: Northamptonshire, North Buckinghamshire, Hampshire
    • South East: Kent, East Sussex

    If you are interested in applying for these jobs, full details can be found on Civil Service Jobs

    If you have any questions regarding the position, please contact the Regional Bee Inspector for the region.
  • Credible sighting of a single Asian hornet near Chelmsford, Essex
    26 August 2022
    National Bee Unit inspectors are carrying out enhanced surveillance near Chelmsford, in response to a compelling report of Asian hornet (Vespa velutina).

    Further information regarding the yellow-legged Asian hornet can be found on Defra's Asian Hornet sightings page and on BeeBase’s Asian hornet page. For media enquiries, please contact the Defra Press Office: 0330 0416560

    We ask beekeepers to remain vigilant, record monitoring trap locations on BeeBase by logging in and updating their my apiaries page, report suspected sightings using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app for iPhone and Android, or the online reporting form.

  • BeeBase Email Outage
    18 August 2022
    During the period Midday 12th August to Midday 17th August, some automated emails from BeeBase will not have been sent. 

    Therefore, if you did not receive an email when expected please re-submit your request. 

    Some systems affected included:
    • Password reset emails
    • Username reminders

    All emails are now being processed as normal
    .