Swarms ! Don’t panic, read on !

If you think you have a swarm of honeybees read this.

First – Check this link to BBKA (British Beekeepers Association)  http://www.bbka.org.uk/help/do_you_have_a_swarm.php and see what kind of bees they are. They may not be honey bees.

Second – If they are honey bees then click the link at the bottom of the BBKA page where you can type in your postcode and find a nearby volunteer beekeeper to collect the swarm. Please remember that the beekeeper is an unpaid volunteer, and though we do not charge, it is polite to offer to pay for their petrol.

Sometimes we are able to save bees from chimneys, roof voids etc. , but not always. It is mostly hanging swarms, which look a bit like a rugby ball, that we collect. Wild swarms don’t often survive, so you are doing a good thing if you report them to us so we can find them a home.

As it says on the BBKA website,  if they are not honeybees then, sadly, we honey beekeepers don’t remove them.

Third If you have wasps or hornets you may have to contact a pest control company.

Fourth If they are bumble bees check here to read about their life cycle. Most bumblebees do not sting as they have no honey to protect. Tree bumblebees like bluetit nesting boxes.


If you leave them alone they will normally die out with the first frost of autumn. Other types of bee are really valuable pollinators and attempting to move them is rarely successful.
Tree bumble bees may be more sensitive to vibrations and are sometimes more aggressive. They have a distinctive white rump and often like to nest in bird boxes. They also die off in autumn.

If they are bumble bees and you really do need to move them then our association may be able loan you a bee suit do it yourself