R&DBKA

Romsey and District Beekeepers' Association

Swarms and pests

Click on a picture to select a topic
SWARMS and PEST CONTROL - Insect problems and pest control
HONEYBEES - A honeybee swarm is distinctive
BUMBLEBEES - nesting in nooks and crannies
COMMON WASPS - build large papery nests
HORNETS - like wasps but much larger
SOLITARY BEES - the lone bees that pollinate
Honeybee swarms
A swarm of honeybees is distinctive. The swarm in flight can be described as a cloud of bees flying excitedly.
The swarm then gathers into a brown mass of thousands of bees clustered tightly together.
They usually settle within about 100 meters from their original colony, while scout bees fly hither and thither seeking a new home. This can take anything from a few minutes to a few days but the decision is usually made within a few hours.
Then activity increases, the swarm takes off and heads for its new home.
Getting help
Every effort should be made to preserve honeybees as they are under threat. One of our swarm officers can arrange for safe removal of a honeybee swarm if you are in the Romsey and District area. Please call:
The Romsey Swarm Line on 07508 716044
We cover the area from Broughton round to Braishfield, through Eastleigh, to Cadnam and Landford, up to West Tytherley and Lockerley; occasionally slightly beyond.
When we attend to collect a swarm
You will be asked about the position, size and behaviour of the swarm.
Please be aware that there is normally a charge to cover expenses. Collecting a swarm requires 2 visits as well as after-care for the bees, and costs mount up. You will need to provide good directions.

Alternatively please click here to go to the excellent British Beekeepers Association website where you will see images to help you identify whether the insects you see are honeybees or something else. At the foot of that web page there is a button to allow you to enter your postcode to find your nearest honeybee swarm collector.
When we cannot help
If we cannot help, we will always try to offer advice:
  • Many calls turn out to be busy bumble bees or solitary bees that nest for one season and will be gone by autumn. They are best left for their few active weeks if possible
  • We may not be able to remove bees that have already established a nest. Occasionally we can help, but it cannot be done quickly
  • We may not be able to remove bees if they are difficult to reach because of height, building structure or restricted access
"Pest" control
If we cannot help, you can contact Steve Smith, an active member of the R&DBKA. He runs Cedar Pest, a professional pest control company with a bee-friendly approach.
Please do call to have an initial discussion about your situation. As a last resort the insects can be destroyed humanely. He is fully insured and can deal with all pest species including wasps, hornets, flies etc. at competitive prices.

Email Steve or call him on 02380 739071 or 07976 425453.

Steve is happy to assist with the identification of nuisance insects. Where possible, saving the honeybee is a priority and he looks for ways to relocate unwanted honeybees and sometimes even bumble bees when their choice of home is unsuitable. Honeybees can unfortunately swarm and build feral colonies in awkward, unwanted places. All measures are taken to save bees, every situation is different and a survey is often essential before a solution can be put in place.