Honey Bee Swarms:
Swarms are merely Colonies that are in transition. Normally these Swarms are
found hanging from tree branch, fence post or any place where the swarm can gather close to the Queen while scouts are sent out to look for a more permanent home. A swarm left alone will only be in place from just a few minutes to a few hours and occasionally a few days. Generally these swarms are very docile and the swarming bees usually will not sting. When Honey Bees swarm they gorge
themselves with honey before leaving the hive which makes it very hard for them to double over and sting.
What Causes Honey Bees to Swarm:
Honey Bees have a natural instinct to survive by sending out new colonies. They may also swarm through overcrowding or because an old queen is thought to be failing and they wish to raise a new one. Honey Bees usually swarm in early spring just as the colony is building up numbers in anticipation of the upcoming honey flow but swarming can happen through to late summer It is difficult to predict if weather conditions will lead to a large number of swarms in a particular year. In 2013 there were relatively few swarms after the bad winter. This year colonies have survived much better and there may be many more swarms.
If You See a Swarm:
Declining Honey Bee numbers make the collection of swarms an important part of the work of bee keepers. You should never interfere with a swarm and pest control companies will not kill a swarm unless absolutely necessary.
MBBKA Swarm Hotline 07770370132 or
Brian Bush – Mid Bucks Beekeepers and BBKA Swarm Officer 01844292195 or 07767304067
BBKA British Bee Keepers Association website http:www.bbka.org.uk