Swarms are the result of a natural process when honey bees split their colonies to ensure their survival. A colony of bees is headed by a single queen bee. As she starts to lose her egg laying powers the colony will raise a new queen in a purpose made cell. When the new queen is ready to hatch, approximately two thirds of the bees in the existing colony will leave, taking the old queen with them. This is what you see and hear when a swarm has emerged. The new queen is left to hatch out and develop, aided by the remaining young non-flying bees.
Swarms will usually alight on a tree or other suitable place. Scout bees will then search for alternative accommodation, sometimes in chimneys or within the roof spaces of buildings. When a suitable place has been found the swarm will move, en masse, to its new home.  
Before bees swarm they will fill themselves with honey. In this state they will rarely sting. However bees that have stayed in the open for 2 or 3 days, will sting and are potentially dangerous. Non-beekeepers should never attempt to interfere with the honey bees.  In most cases bees will find a solution to their temporary housing problem and will disappear. 

 

For more information on swarms and also determining whether you have honey bees, bumble bees or wasps, please see the Scottish Beekeepers website.

Swarms are useful to beekeepers who are usually willing to collect swarms if this is at all practical (we obviously need to be able to get at the swarm location).

 If you have found a swarm, please contact Eddie and Nikki on 07535546984.

 Note that whilst we can usually collect swarms, if you have an established colony of honeybees, removal is much more involved and we may not be able to help.

If you have Bumble Bees, useful information can be found on the Bumblebee Conservation Trust website