Swarms

Swarms are 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. Half of the colony and the queen will form a swarm, fly off to find a new home, leaving 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 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.

The process we will follow is to try and correctly identify that you are looking at a swarm of honeybees and then provide regional contact information for the volunteer members of the Scottish Beekeepers Association that have agreed to be included on this website.