Swarming is a natural instinct of honey bees. It is their way to reproduce and to create more colonies to further their species. If left alone they will try and find a new home which very often may suit the bees but not the people who live and work near them. Because of this the bees stand a much better chance of survival if they are captured and housed in a new hive, where they can be managed and cared for without causing any undue problems for themselves or others.
At the time a colony of bees start swarming you will see lots of bees flying around a ten to twenty metre area. The air will appear thick with bees depending on the swarm size, a prime swarm, the first one to leave the colony is the biggest. If the swarm is not disturbed or approached they will normally cause no problems. If you watch them you will see that most of the activity is centered around a cluster of bees that have landed somewhere nearby like a branch or fence post where they will be looking after their queen. The bees may keep flying around for an hour or so before they settle down and cluster, the cluster may look like a rugby ball or football depending on where it settles. It will remain in this place until the scout bees have found a suitable place to set up a new home. The new home found could be an empty hive, a hole in a tree or it could a place less suitable such as a chimney, or a cavity in a wall of a house. Although there is a lot of activity when honey bees swarm, the bees themselves are very rarely aggressive unless unduley disturbed, but please do keep a safe distance away from them and call an experience beekeeper to come and collect them.
Beckys bees offers a honey bee swarm collection service within within a 15 mile radius of Andover and Newbury. We can safely re-home the swarm into a hive. Please Contact Us if you see a swarm that needs collecting in your gardens etc. The last thing we want to happen is for the swarm to take up residence in somebodies cavity wall where removal can be very costly and complicated. We are not able to help with established colonies living in chimneys or cavities but we can put you in touch with someone who can help in these situations.
Got a swarm that needs sorting out? Andover Beekeepers Association has a dedicated swarm collection line