What do I do if I see a swarm of bees?

Honey bees normally swarm in the active season, which can be as early as from late April through to August. Although a swarm will usually settle on a bush or tree, they can settle on just about anything, including in the structure of houses and outbuildings. A swarm usually appears during the late morning or early afternoon on warm, dry and wind-free days.

A swarm will not cause any harm if left alone. The bees have no brood to protect and have just eaten a large meal of honey to keep them going for a couple of days.

Beekeepers are unable to assist with the removal of bumble bees, solitary bees, wasps or hornets. Please confirm that you have a honey bee swarm BEFORE contacting us. Click here for a video of swarming honey bees and an image of a resting swarm. Additional images showing the differences between a honey bee, bumble bee, wasp and hornet, are available here.

If you have a honey bee swarm:

  • Local beekeepers will usually be happy to collect it free of charge. However, please be aware that not all swarms will be readily accessible and action can only be taken when a suitable on site risk assessment has been carried out. Specifically, if you have honey bees in the fabric of your property these cannot usually be dealt with by a beekeeper; we are not able to go up into lofts, on to a roof, or remove roof tiles or other parts of a building’s structure; we cannot remove bees out of cavity walls; we can only attempt to remove bees from a chimney if there is a means of lighting a smoky fire beneath them. If the bees are not causing a nuisance or a threat, they can be left alone, but if you consider them to present a risk or a disturbance, further guidance on what to do is available from the British Beekeepers’ Association.

     If you are in the Lampeter area, please contact our Swarm Co-ordinator, Gordon Lumby, on 01570 480571. He will organise for one of our "swarm catchers" in your area to come and deal with the swarm.

    If you are in the Aberystwyth area, please contact Ann Ovens of the Aberystwyth Beekeepers' Association on 01970 832359.

    If you are in the Cardigan area, please contact John Page of the Teifiside Beekeepers' Association on 01545 590515.

    Otherwise, you will find details of beekeepers' associations in other areas of Wales via the Welsh Beekeepers' Association.

     If you don’t think they are honey bees:

     Click here for a step by step guide from the British Beekeepers’ Association to help you identify the insect and decide what to do. Alternatively, in an emergency, or for help in dealing with a wasp nest, you can contact your local authority's Environmental Health department and ask for pest control.

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