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Bishops Stortford Beekeepers

About Swarms

What is a Swarm?

A swarm is a completely natural phenomenon, it is how bees reproduce. It occurs when the colony determines that it has outgrown the space that it currently occupies. A new Queen is produced and just before she is ready to hatch all the flying bees gorge on the honey stored so that they have enough food to see them on their journey, just as we like a good breakfast before we go on an arduous journey.

What happens?

All the flying bees leave the colony with the existing Queen, this is a cloud of bees in flight. They then find a place to rest, to make sure the Queen has left with them, before sending out scout bees, who are a bit like estate agents. Scout bees then look for a suitable cavity to make their home which could be a hollow tree, a chimney, roof space or a hedge.

What does a resting swarm look like?




Seen a Swarm?

If you have seen a swarm contact one of our local Swarm Collectors who will come and retrieve the swarm. Each of the members listed is covered by Third Party Public Liability Insurance and has several years experience, they may bring a new beekeeper with them who needs to learn good swarm collection techniques.
Swarm collection can take a bit of time and they may need to make several visits to ensure that all the bees are collected, Honeybees are wild insects and they may take longer to collect than you had hoped.
If the swarm is inside a building structure you will be consulted at length on what can or can’t be done.