Please don’t panic if you do come across a swarm. The bees are usually quite docile while they are swarming. To be on the safe side keep children and pets well away so that the bees are not disturbed, close any open windows overlooking the swarm, then telephone a beekeeper.
The noise from their wings can be quite loud.
A swarm may not stay in place for more than a few hours, so please ask for help without delay.
If you are sure that you have a swarm of honeybees then please contact the Vale & Downland Association’s Swarm co-ordinator.
Lilian Valentine 01235 767524
Although the assistance given to the public is generally provided by the beekeeper free of charge, a donation towards the beekeeper’s cost of fuel would be appreciated.
If you are not in the Wantage area then call your local beekeeping association. If you don’t know how to contact your local beekeeping association call your local council, or the police, or the public library.
Please note that any assistance given by a beekeeper is provided on the basis that neither the Association nor its members can be held responsible for any inadvertent misadventure during the process of collecting swarms. Beekeepers are not builders, tree surgeons or steeplejacks!
More about swarms:
A colony of bees reproduces itself by swarming. In the spring, when conditions are favourable, the queen will lay lots of eggs and the colony will rapidly grow in numbers. When the hive starts to become overcrowded, the worker bees will place one or more eggs in special queen cells, and feed the emergent larvae with special food to rear a new queen or queens. When the first new queen is due to emerge from her cell (this takes about 16 days), the older worker bees will fill themselves with honey and will fly off with the old queen to found a new colony.