So you think you have a swarm of bees?
Don’t Panic, bees in a swarm are universally in a good mood. They can not easily sting even if antagonised as they have gorged themselves with honey and can not get their bodies into the best position to sting.
If the swarm is not causing a nuisance it may be left, gradually the bees will cluster in a bush or tree and remain there for up to 3 days. During that time scouts will be sent out to look for a new home. Bees are easy to recover in a swarm cluster but if left may home in on a roof cavity, chimney or similarly inaccessible space where they become a nuisance.
If the swarm is in the East Hampshire District Council area or just across the West Sussex border (Rogate / Harting area) then ring our swarm co-ordinator Rowan Roberts on: 07531 901767 This is a dedicated mobile phone and is passed to another should he be on holiday.
Rowan will ask a number of questions – amongst which will be ‘are you sure they are honeybees?’ You would not be the first to mistake a cloud of male bumble bees as a possible swarm of honey bees. There is a lot of information on bumblebees at the friends of the earth website with a guide to bumblebee identification. Another question will be how long have they been there, the size of the cluster in approximate terms ‘grapefruit’, ‘football’ etc and some idea how far off the ground they are. Rowan will then try and find a local beekeeper who is available to come and remove them for you.
We make no charge for this service – but it is only a service that can be offered for swarms clustered outdoors. The immediate removal of swarms from within a building’s structure are outside the terms of our insurance, although sometimes it is possible. The visiting beekeeper should be able to advise.