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What do I do if a swarm of bees turns up?

If you have a swarm of bees - DON'T PANIC. The first thing to check is if they are honey bees. If they really are honey bees then ring your local beekeepers association. For more details on how to check what you have got and get help see our swarms page.

If you live near to Bridport in Dorset then you can ring us on 01308 423808.

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And another one


Even though it is late in July we got a call about a swarm today. Sally is away in Birmingham today, so it was a solo mission over to Uplyme.Swarm in laburnum tree at Uplyme

The lady had had a swarm take up residence in her roof space last week and reluctantly had to get a pest controller out to destroy it. She didn't want the same fate to await this one. She had thought these may have been the bees from her roof, but her builder had seen the swarm in the air and was convinced that it was aiming to get in the roof not issuing from it.

Anyway, it was a little swarm nestled round a laburnum branch. The garden is on a steep slope and there was a bed of tall nettles below the tree. Not too hard but not a breeze.

After clearing away the nettles it was possible to stretch up to the branch where the swarm was settled and shake half of it in the skep half of it over me!  Well it seemed like that at first but it wasn't that many.  Unfortunately I don't think I got the queen first go.  Another little shake into a box and dumped in front of the upturned skep got them with their bums in the air and the Nasanov glands going. It wasn't long before they had all oriented themselves and entered the skep. 

There were very few bees flying around (there hadn't been a lot of activity around them on the tree either) so, even though it was only late afternoon, I decided to wrap them up and take them away right then.  The stragglers should find their way back to the original colony.

The lady's husband would like to keep bees (I understand his father kept them for many years and still has the equipment) so hopefully he will get in touch with me or contact his local beekeeping association.

Last week we thought we would be down to two colonies.  We had shaken out a queenless colony with a laying worker and thought two other hives were queenless and we would have to unite them with the remaining queen-right hives.  Now we seem to be back to five colonies, hopefully with a queen apiece.  We may not get any honey this year but we may now have more options for getting the best through to next spring in fine condition.
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Posted by David on Tuesday 22 July 2008 - 18:37:27 |printer friendly