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Managing BumbleBees

Bumble Bees



BBKA Chair Anne Rowberry says: "The swarm collection service will still be in operation during the pandemic.

Swarm collection can go ahead but you must take into account social distancing. Risk assess the situation and do not take unnecessary risks as health services  will be under pressure due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. As always, only collect when it is safe to do so.  We are working with DEFRA."

If you think you have a swarm first check that it is honeybees that you are seeing: consult the BBKA website and the guide links on this page first to make sure we can be of help! Our SWARM COLLECTORS will NOT deal with BUMBLEBEES (see  Bumblebee Trust link). The majority of bumblebees in walls and bird nest boxes are tree bumble bees. If it is a honeybee swarm then it's best to call us earlier rather than wait. The sooner we can recover a colony on the move the better, before the queen settles deep into some crevice.


Honeybees swarm in order to extend the species by increasing the number of colonies. The original hive is left with queen cells and non-flying bees while the swarm has the flying bees clustered around the old queen. A swarm often settles in bushes or trees but this is normally a temporary resting place until scout bees find an appropriate place to form a new colony. The behaviour is most prevalent from April to July.


A swarm is normally passive as long as the bees are fully gorged on honey. In fact some people have fashioned beards from them. However, this is not a recommended pastime. If you encounter a swarm, then try to remain calm and avoid aggravating activities such as the use of petrol lawnmowers and hedge trimmers.



will NOT deal with 
see  Bumblebee Trust link

Queen Bumble.jpg
swarm in progress

Once the searching bees have found a home for the swarm, the new colony up and goes. They're noisy and numerous but usually very docile in this phase.

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