Swarming usually happens in April - June rarely much later than this although it does depend on the weather, as we found this year with some swarms in mid july!

Swarms  can be quite frightening if you are not used to seeing & hearing them. First thing to remember is they are very very focussed on finding a new home so are really not likely to attack or sting you - particularly if they are on a tree branch clustered in a rugby ball shape (or bigger or smaller). There will in this case be a few bees flying backwards and forwards looking for a suitable new home. These are scouts checking trees and roofs and chimneys in the area, so if you have a chimney and they are looking keenly at it, light a fire and put some grass on it so it is nice and smoky as this will deter them.

If they are still flying, then best to keep out of their way as you will avoid any contact and potential for a sting. Try not to swat any, and only kill them if you get one in your hair, and then whack it hard to put yourself out of any misery!. Keep windows and doors closed until they settle.

Once they have settled, call the number below, send a photo by sms to John and he can then assess the relative size and who may be able to collect it. Now read on to better understand what to do ...

 Firstly you need to assess - are they bees, or wasps or hornets and how many there are ?

These pictures are not to scale, but do give you an idea of the colouring and size.
Read on for advice ...

What to look for ……

 

swarm 

bee 

wasp 

This is a swarm It could be anything from 12" to 36" long

This is a Honey Bee

This isn’t, it’s a wasp

 

 

hornet 

 

solitary 

This is a hornet

This is a bumble bee

This is a solitary bee

 

If they are hornets or wasps we can’t help you and your only course of action is to call a Pest Control company to deal with them.

If you are sure it is a swarm of honey bees, and there is a large clump (see photos) of more than 5,000 bees which have been there for an hour or so, please call our

Swarm Co-ordinator, John Moseley on 01905 428735 or 07947 214280

and he will try to arrange removal for you. If we don’t have a member available to collect the swarm, the bees will almost certainly have moved on within a short space of time, or overnight. You just need to avoid them and keep children and pets away until they have gone.

If the swarm goes into a chimney, then access is unlikely to be easy and you will not harm the bees by lighting a small fire to smoke them out. There may also be other difficult situations, where for safety reasons, we will not be able to gain access. If you call our Swarm Co-ordinator, please give him all relevant information, and have a digital photo ready to send him if you can.

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