Swarming is a natural process that occurs when honey bees in the hive allow a new queen to develop and the colony spilts into two smaller colonies. Swarming is the honey bees way of reproducing.
One group of bees with a queen will fly and eventually land in a suitable location, such as tree or post. Some bees can be seen flying from the swarm, these are scout bees, searching for a suitable place for the colony to fly to and set up a permanent hive.
The usual swarming season is between April to the end of August, and this is the time when members of the public often need the services of a beekeeper to deal with honey bee swarms.
Beekeepers will only deal with honey bees swarms, and this page has been created to help you identify the most common types of insects we get called out to deal with. If you do have a honey bee swarm which can be removed safely, we have several members who volunteer their services.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have a honey bee swarm. What should I do?
If a honey bee swarm has landed at your property or you know of one, then the first thing to do is not to panic. Honey bees are at their most docile while swarming, and are unlikely to bother you if left alone. This page details how you can contact one of our swarm collection volunteers.
Will I get stung?
Honey bees are at their most docile while swarming. Before leaving the hive they gorge themselves on their honey stores, this makes them very docile. If you leave a swarm alone they are unlikely to bother you.
Will the bees attack my pets?
Honey bees are at their most docile while swarming. Before leaving the hive they gorge themselves on their honey stores, this makes them very docile. If you leave a swarm alone they are unlikely to bother you. Pets are sometime inquisitive, keep them in doors if posible.
I have a swarm/ bees in my chimney/cavity wall. What can I do?
Once a honey bee swarm becomes established in a chimney or cavity wall, they are quite difficult to remove. They are unlikely to cause structural damage. Many beekeepers are unable to remove such swarms due to the risk associated with such works. We recommend you contact a bee friendly pest controller for advice.
If you have identified a honey bee swarm then leave it alone and record the following information:
1. Address of swarm location
2. Contact name and telephone number of a witness
3. Is the swarm accessible? i.e. Is a ladder required?
The following members are prepared to come and collect honey bee swarms in their area. Please contact the individual directly on the number given below. If they are unable to answer please leave a message detailing the above points. You can also report a swarm online, using our contact form. We can be very busy during the swarming season, so please be patient and someone will contact you.
Ray Strange 078 540 865 14
Barbara Chick 029 20 597 275
Nick Mensikov 079 499 695 30
Nigel 078 817 939 33
Vale of Glamorgan
Nigel 078 817 939 33
Rhondda Cynon Taf
Local Authority pest control departments may also retain a list of local beekeepers who may be able to assist. Please note the beekeeper may charge for such service.