Swarms (2017)

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This interactive map shows 2017 honey bee swarms that the Rugby Beekeepers Association branch is aware of.
Where information has been provided, it has been included and can be read by clicking the marker for that swarm.

Between April and July honeybees may swarm.  They do this in order to reproduce and increase their genetic diversity.  The old queen leaves the hive with approximately half the bees, and the bees left in the hive make a new queen.  The new queen will mate with between 10 to 20 drones from hives in the area and this ensures the genetic diverity of the new hive.  Meanwhile the old queen and her workers find a temporary resting place, usually within about 100m from the old hive, where they hang in a large football shaped cluster from a branch, on a wall or pole, or any other  likely resting place and send out scout bees to find a suitable new home.  They could remain in this location for a few hours or up to 3 or 4 days.  

If you see bees in this cluster please contact a beekeeper to come and collect them and rehive them, or they may find themselves an (unsuitable) home in someone's chimney or shed. To do this click on this link which will take you to the British Beekeepers Swarm page.

 

Identification

If you are not sure that what you have seen is a honeybee swarm, please also click on the above link which will help you identify what you have seen.

Need someone to remove a swarm?

A swarm of honeybeesIf you think you have seen a swarm of honeybees and would like to contact a local beekeeper to collect them go to the BBKA Do You Have A Swarm page. 

Please be aware that these beekeepers collect swarms on a voluntary basis.  They will not charge you for collecting the swarm, but they may ask for a token amount to cover their expenses.

The beekeeper's insurance does not cover them for collecting bees from high or dangerous locations.  Also, if the bees are already establishing a colony in the fabric of a building, it may not be possible to remove them.  If this is the case, and they are causing a real nuisance, they will need to be removed by a specialist Pest Control firm.  You can find details of a local firm on the web or from a local telephone directory.

 

 

Looking to acquire a swarm?

If you are member of this branch (Rugby) and you are looking to acquire a swarm of bees visit this page.


BeeBase

Beebase News Web feed
  • Julian Parker – Head of APHA’s National Bee Unit.
    23 November 2020
    Following a recent recruitment process Julian Parker has been appointed as Head of the National Bee Unit (NBU) within Defra’s Animal and Plant Health Agency. Within the NBU Julian has previously been Acting Head as well as National Bee Inspector and before that Regional Bee Inspector for Southern and South East Regions. Julian has over 12 years operational experience with the NBU including leading outbreak situations. Julian is also well known in the wider beekeeping community and his expertise is highly respected across Defra and Welsh Government as well as with Bee Health stakeholders. He has also played a key role in the review of the 2020 Healthy Bees Plan and will now play a significant role in delivering the Healthy Bee Plan 2030. Many congratulations Julian.
  • Email issues
    16 November 2020
    If you have sent an email to nbu@apha.gov.uk between the 10th November and the 16th November, due to a system failure your message has not been received. Please resend your messages, we apologise for the inconvenience.
  • Healthy Bees Plan 2030 Published
    03 November 2020
    Defra, Welsh Government and the National Bee Unit have worked with stakeholders to produce a review of progress made under the Healthy Bees Plan, a ten-year plan introduced in 2009 to improve honey bee health across England and Wales. Following this review, a new plan entitled the Healthy Bees Plan 2030 has been published today to carry on this important work.

    Welcoming the new plan, Nicola Spence, Deputy Director for Plant and Bee Health at Defra, said:

    I am delighted that today we are publishing the Healthy Bees Plan 2030 which is Defra’s and Welsh Government’s joint framework for continued action to improve honey bee health in England and Wales over the next ten years. Protecting our honey bees is vital because of the benefits they bring through pollination of flowers and crops, honey production and our well-being. Bee health stakeholders have had a key role in developing this new Healthy Bees Plan and we look forward to continuing to work together as we implement the plan.

    Ceri Witchard, Deputy Director for Land, Nature and Forestry at Welsh Government, said:

    The Healthy Bees Plan 2009 was published with the aim of achieving a sustainable and healthy population of honey bees for pollination and honey production in Wales and England. Our overall aim has not changed. However, the experiences we have gained and the relationships we have built within the Bee Health Advisory Forum now put us in a firmer position to face new risks and challenges to honey bees. I am grateful to the Forum and other stakeholders for their commitment and contributions in developing the Healthy Bees Plan 2030.