Swarms


This page tells you what to do if you have bees or wasps you want removed and what help is available from your local division of the EBKA.

It is essential to know which type of these insects you have. It is very common for people to confuse wasps and bumble bees with the honey bee. Compare what you have on your property to the pictures below :

EBKA website insect pictures

Removing a swarm of honey bees

Swarming is the way honey bees make new colonies. The new colony leaves the mother hive and rests temporarily whilst searching for a new place to live.

Typically the swarm rests in a tree or bush (as in the picture) for anything between an hour and a couple of days. A swarm will normally move on and the bees in a swarm will ignore you unless they feel you are threatening them, however a hanging swarm should be removed by a beekeeper as, if it does move on, it may well end up in a chimney or other unsuitable location.

UPDATE

There are a LOT of these type of bumble bees around this year – Bombus Hypnorum

Bombus Hypnorum
Bombus Hypnorum – frequenting small bird boxes and holes in house walls

Resolution will usually involves waiting until autumn when they die out then, then emptying the nest out of the bird box and giving it a good clean. Please see more information below

If you have a honey bee swarm and need assistance you can contact :

Braintree  : Stuart Mitson – 01376 340683 or Richard Savage – 01245 440367

Chelmsford : Swarms contacts

Colchester : Morag Chase – 07826 794 045

Dengie & Maldon : Carlie Mayes – (swarms@dmbka.org.uk)  07979 862952 or 01245 381577

Epping Forest : swarm contacts

Harlow  : Nick Holmes  - (wwwcight@gmail.com) : 077 307 357 52

Romford :  : no contact at present

Saffron Walden : Swarm contacts via BBKA website

Southend Swarm : swarm collection list

Never call the 999 services unless it is an emergency (very unlikely). Local divisions will generally be prepared to send someone to remove the swarm if it is accessible. Some beekeepers charge for this service in order to cover for the various expenses incurred in re-locating a swarm.

Photo: Paul Farrow
A swarm in a tree
Photo: Paul Farrow

Beekeepers will take the the swarm away and put it in a hive or combine it with an existing colony.

Removing a colony of honey bees

If you have a colony of bees that is troubling you, it can be moved but only if it is accessible. Common places to find honey bee colonies are in chimneys, holes in trees and cavities in buildings. Again refer to your local division to find a beekeeper to remove the colony.

Removing bumble bees

Bumble bee colonies are most often found in holes in the ground and in compost heaps. Bumble bees do not overwinter as a colony so they will be gone by the autumn. Bumble bees will not sting unless they feel threatened.

It is possible to move bumble bees but they are best left where they are. If you cannot tolerate a colony of bumble bees then contact your Local Division who may be prepared to move the colony. Because beekeepers keep honey bees, not all beekeepers will move bumble bees.

Wasps

Typically wasps build nests in lofts and sheds. Like bumble bees they die out during the Autumn leaving only the new queens to overwinter. Normally wasps are only destroyed if they are a nuisance as they can benefit the local environment. Most beekeepers don’t get involved with wasps and a reputable pest control company should be used.

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