What do I do if a Bee Swarm is in my Garden?
Don't panic! Bee swarms are simply part of the reproductive cycle of the honey bee colony and an important part of putting food on our tables, to find out why see here.
Copyright © 2007-2013 F B Medhurst all rights reserved
Prior to swarming the honey bees will have filled up on honey from their stores and will have slimmed the normally rotund queen down so that she can fly.
Then they will have left the old colony in search of a new home which would normally be at least three miles from the old one.
Because the bees are so full of honey they will be relatively passive and less likely to sting. They will hang in a cluster,
usually on a tree branch, whilst they send out scout bees to look for a new home.
Once the home has been found they'll be off again, this time to their permanent location. If no home can
be found, they will move en-mass to somewhere else and send out the scout bees again.
If they have been searching for a home for several days, and if because of the weather food stores are depleted, the bee swarm may lose some of its passivity and be more prone to sting so always treat a honey bee swarm with respect.
Honey bees live in sheltered, darkened enclosures, so they will eventually set up home in old tree trunks, household cavity walls, chimneys, rabbit hutches, gas meter boxes, and of course, bee hives.
Not sure if you have a bee swarm? Then see here.
Contact a bee swarm collector, see here for contact numbers. Some local collectors will collect your honey bee swarm free of charge and do so to help maintain the sadly depleted stocks of feral honey bees.
If you live in Gravesham or it's surrounding area*
(*Gravesend, Cobham, Higham, Luddesdown, Meopham, Shorne, Vigo, Culverstone Green, Northfleet, Chalk, Gadshill, Meopham Green, Sole Street, Thong, New Barn, Longfield, New Ash Green, Hartley, Dartford, Wrotham, North Kent, Istead Rise, Southfleet, Betsham, Hodsoll Street, Harvel)
Gravesham Borough Council (GBC) - Environmental Control :
Tel 01474 56 44 22
GBC maintains a list of beekeepers willing to collect bee swarms in Gravesham. Alternatively use the on-line facility below.
If you live outside the Gravesham area :
Use Your Postcode To Find A Swarm Collector:
This online map based facility allows you to enter your postcode and then shows which swarm collectors are close to you along with their contact details.
Kent Bee Keepers Association (KBKA): Web: http://www.kentbee.com/kbka/info/swarms/
The KBKA maintains a list of swarm collectors throughout Kent. Collectors may require refunding of their travel costs or a contribution to association funds.