A swarm of HONEY BEES in flight can be described as a cloud of bees flying excitedly
A swarm taking to the air
HONEY BEES are protected. They are vital pollinators and every effort should be made to protect the bees.
Swarming is natural; it happens when a healthy colony has increased in size and is looking for a new home.
A swarm gathers into a brown mass of around 20,000 bees clustered tightly together around a queen. Swarms often locate on shrubs, trees or buildings (including chimneys) however they can decide to pitch anywhere such as cars, lorries, lamposts, playhouses etc.
Firstly, don't panic. However, you probably need help
A swarm of honeybees
Normally honeybee swarms are not aggressive. This is because they have gorged themselves on honey stores and no longer have a home to defend. However, if provoked, a swarm will become increasingly defensive the longer it remains at a location.
WARNING: The bees can still sting. Children and animals should be kept well away from the swarm and adults should remain at a safe distance or go indoors and close the windows. Never attempt to destroy or move a swarm yourself.
If you have a swarm please phone a honeybee swarm co-ordinator
Swarms have the best chance of survival if they are taken by trained beekeepers and placed in beehives where they can thrive and increase.
You will need to be able to give good directions to the location of the swarm and to describe its position and approximate size. It will help if you can describe the bees' behaviour - whether they are active or not.
The swarm co-ordinator can arrange for someone to come and remove the swarm but please be aware that most beekeepers make a charge towards expenses.
Swarm officers for this area are:
  • Gillian Bird (01264 889463)
  • Peter Grimes ()
  • Allan Clark (01794 524151)
  • Clare Porter (02380 739071)
  • Steve Smith (02380 739071)
  • Janelle Quitman (01794 301754)
  • Advice and help (07508 716044)
  • Matt Brake ()
Or phone Steve Smith at Cedar Pest (02380 739071 or 07976 425453. For full details please read our "Swarms and pest control" information
Click the pictures -
SWARMS and PEST CONTOL - What to do?
HONEYBEES - A honeybee swarm is distinctive
BUMBLE BEES - nesting in nooks and crannies
WASPS - large papery nests
HORNETS - like wasps but much larger
SOLITARY BEES - the lone bees that pollinate