Swarming is the natural process of reproduction for a honeybee colony.

The queen is the only member of the colony that can lay fertilised eggs. If she lays more eggs the colony just gets bigger. To reproduce the colony needs to create a new queen and then physically split. Up to half of the colony and the queen will form a swarm, leave the hive and fly off to find a new home. This leaves the original home for a new queen and the remaining honeybees. This usually happens during May to July.

On leaving the old home, the swarm will land on any suitable surface and form a cluster around the queen. Although it may be a suitable surface for the swarm, it may not be suitable for people! Although swarms can be a frightening sight, they are generally busy trying to find a new home. It is best to leave them alone and get in touch with a local beekeeper.

There are a range of insects we get calls for that are often mis-identified as honeybees. Unfortunately, we can only assist with honeybees. The first step will we will use Beedentify to correctly identify what insect you are looking at and provide information. If honeybees are confirmed, we can then connect you to the appropriate UK Beekeepers Association. Each UK association has a list of volunteer beekeepers that may be able to help you.

To start click on Beedentify