Bee swarms

Bee swarms

12th May 2015

Please note we do not treat any type of bee.

A swarm in May — is worth a load of hay
A swarm in June — is worth a silver spoon
A swarm in July — isn’t worth a fly

The following information has been taken from BBC Berkshire  “Bee Part Of It” campaign see http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/berkshire/hi/people_and_places/nature/newsid_8684000/8684538.stm

Swarming Bees
Swarming is the natural means of reproduction of honeybee colonies. A new honeybee colony is formed when the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees, a process called swarming. In the prime swarm, about 60 per cent of the worker bees leave the original hive location with the old queen. Secondary afterswarms may happen but are rare. Afterswarms are usually smaller and are accompanied by one or more virgin queens. Sometimes a beehive will swarm in succession until it is almost totally depleted of workers.

An individual bee without a colony cannot survive for long. It also needs a certain colony size to reproduce. In the process of swarming the original single colony reproduces to two and sometimes more colonies.
Swarming is mainly a spring phenomenon, usually within a two or three-week period depending on the locale. But occasional swarms can happen throughout the producing season.

A swarm of bees sometimes frightens people, though the bees are usually not aggressive at this stage of their life cycle.

This is principally due to the swarming bees’ lack of a hive to defend and their interest in finding a new nesting location for their queen.

This does not mean that bees from a swarm will not attack if they perceive a threat; however, most bees only attack in response to intrusions against their hive.

Swarm clusters, hanging off of a tree branch, will move on and find a suitable nesting location in a day or two.

UK – National Swarm Coordinators

For more information see the British Beekeepers web site at http://www.bbka.org.uk/help/do_you_have_a_swarm.php before contacting their nearest honeybee swarm coordinator via the following link on British Beekeepers’ Association website at http://www.bbka.org.uk/help/find_a_swarm_coordinator.php

You will be asked to supply the exact location of the swarm. Most beekeepers would make a charge for removal of a swarm from your garden depending on travelling distances to cover costs of petrol etc.

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