If you see a swarm of bees hanging on a tree, clustered on a shed or wall or even on a parked car then you should be able to find a swarm collector through your local beekeeping association. Once you make contact with they will most likely ask you a few questions in order to gather all the information they need so they have the appropriate equipment to remove the swarm.
- Where are you – address, postcode, phone number, other location details
- Where are the bees -easy to get at; height from ground, in tree, bush, in building
- Description of bees – round and furry (they may be Bumble Bees not Honeybees), do they have a waist, estimate of number etc
- You may be asked to send a photo of the bees from your phone
- How long have they been there – just arrived, an hour, several hours, longer
- What are they doing – fly in a cloud, with a purpose or just milling around, have they settled and are gathered in a ball?
- Can we have access at dusk or similar?
Some examples of swarms of honey bee below. Click here to find your local swarm collector by postcode
Once you have made contact with the local collector he or she will come out and deal with the swarm. They will most likely shake or brush the bees into a box or nucleus hive. There will still be some bees that are flying around so ideally they will leave the box with an entrance open close to where the cluster to attract any flying bees. Once the sun has gone down all the bees should be in the box and the beekeeper can simply return, close the entrance and remove the bees safely.
It is worth noting that bees don’t always stay in the box that the swarm collector shakes them into. If the swarm has already decided on its new home, or simply does not like the box/nuc hive that the swarm collector has shaken them into, they can go again! They may even move back out to where they originally clustered. The swarm collector could try again but I often find if they go once they go again and they end up being the swarm that got away.