Swarms (2017)

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This interactive map shows 2017 honey bee swarms that the Rugby Beekeepers Association branch is aware of.
Where information has been provided, it has been included and can be read by clicking the marker for that swarm.

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 diverity 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 rehive 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
  • COVID-19 and Beekeeping update
    11 January 2021
    This is a re-issue of the guidance provided in October 2020:

    Please find the latest Covid-19 beekeeping guidance. The update includes separate links to the current Public Health Guidance for England, Wales and Scotland.

    Covid-19_and_Beekeeping_Update_v3

    COVID-19_and_Beekeeping_-_Welsh_Language_Version v3

    If you have any queries please contact:

    For England: BeeHealth.Info@defra.gov.uk
    For Wales: HoneyBeeHealth@gov.wales / GwenynMelIach@llyw.cymru
    For Scotland: Bees_Mailbox@gov.scot
  • Starvation and Varroa Alert
    04 December 2020
    Observations from beekeepers and Bee Inspectors across the UK suggest that some colonies of bees are becoming short of food.

    Please monitor your colonies throughout the coming months and feed as required to ensure your bees do not starve. A standard full size British National colony needs between 20-25 kg of stores to successfully overwinter. If they need feeding at this time then fondant should be used. This should be placed above the brood nest so that the bees are able to access it easily.

    For further information, please see the ‘Best Practice Guidance No. 7 - Feeding Bees Sugar’ on the following BeeBase Page: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=167

    It has also been observed that Varroa levels in some hives are starting to increase again. This may be due to a number of factors, but the exceptionally mild weather this autumn has encouraged some colonies to produce more brood than usual which has allowed an increase in mite reproduction.

    Please monitor mite levels and treat accordingly.

    For further information, please see the’ Managing Varroa’ Advisory leaflet on the following BeeBase Page: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=167
  • Julian Parker – Head of APHA’s National Bee Unit.
    23 November 2020
    Following a recent recruitment process Julian Parker has been appointed as Head of the National Bee Unit (NBU) within Defra’s Animal and Plant Health Agency. Within the NBU Julian has previously been Acting Head as well as National Bee Inspector and before that Regional Bee Inspector for Southern and South East Regions. Julian has over 12 years operational experience with the NBU including leading outbreak situations. Julian is also well known in the wider beekeeping community and his expertise is highly respected across Defra and Welsh Government as well as with Bee Health stakeholders. He has also played a key role in the review of the 2020 Healthy Bees Plan and will now play a significant role in delivering the Healthy Bee Plan 2030. Many congratulations Julian.