Bee Swarming

Now is the start of the swarming season as the weather warms up.  Swarming is perfectly natural for honey bees.  It is their way of increasing their population and chances of survival and the typical  swarming season is from April to July.

Swarming can be triggered by a combination of factors. When an abundance of food is available the hive can become congested with the sheer amount of bees and lack of space to store honey. We try our best to provide enough room for the queen to lay and for the workers to store their food but sometimes even this will not quell their desire to swarm.  Some colonies are genetically more prone to swarming than others.  Weekly inspections are done to search for signs so that the beekeeper can take appropriate action. If a swarm is lost we can say goodbye to a honey crop and unless the bees are captured and re-homed there is a chance that they won’t survive.  It is also important to collect swarms and get them into a hive before they decide to take up residence in the fabric of buildings where they can become a nuisance to the home or business owner.

When a swarm leaves a hive they find somewhere to cluster. Scout bees then search for a suitable new home. Once this has been achieved the swarm will take to the air and fly immediately to their new address.

Honey bees do not live underground or in bird boxes. If you see bees in either of these locations they are going to be one of the species of bumble bee or solitary bee.  We have over 260 species in the UK.

So if you see a swarm please visit newburybeekeepers.org.uk/swarms and use the information on the page to help establish it is honey bee swarm that you have. Then call the mobile number on the page and someone will help you.

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