Honey bees are the only
insects that most people will come across in their gardens that swarm.
How do you know if you a have a swarm?
A swarm is roughly round in shape and is
either found on a tree,
hanging from a branch or sited on a post. The size will vary, but usually they
are about the size of a football. You might have seen the swarm arrive with
thousands of bees in the air, heralded with a roar. The bees will have just left
their previous home and will settle on a convenient branch and then ensure that
they have the queen bee with them. If not, they will return from whence they
came. They may well have another home already in mind but most swarms will
remain where they are until they have found a new situation.
What should I do?
Donít try to make the bees move on. The swarm will break up
and probably land in an even more inconvenient place from which to remove them. Whilst
they are in a swarm, they are usually less inclined to sting - but donít attempt
get too close.
If you think you have a swarm, you can contact the
Services Department of Chelmsford Borough ( 01245 606800) and they will
you with the telephone number of a beekeeper
or you can contact a
beekeeper directly here . The beekeeper may personally deal
with the swarm or may give you the telephone number of a beekeeper nearest to
you This is a voluntary service, organised by the Chelmsford division of the
Essex beekeepers association. It may not be possible to arrange for a beekeeper to come
straight away, you may be asked to leave your name and number on an answer-phone.
What will the Beekeeper do?
When the beekeeper arrives, he or she will shake the swarm into a skep or a box.
They will then place this container on the floor, on which a white cloth has
been placed. The beekeeper will wait to ensure that most of the bees have
gone into the skep. It is not possible to take the swarm away at this time - it
not be until the evening, when the bees have stopped flying, that the beekeeper will
be able to remove the swarm to the apiary.
Is there a charge for this service?
Yes, although it is a voluntary service, there are expenses
incurred; for example: the cost of petrol, costs incurred in providing the bees
with frames of wax and medication to rid the bees of parasites. There is no hard
and fast rule regarding price but it might be in the region of £30
For more information on swarms,
wasps and solitary bees etc we recommend you tka a look around this