Dealing with a Honey Bee Swarm

A Honey bee colony reproduces itself by swarming. This involves some of the bees and their queen leaving their original colony site and taking up suitable residence somewhere else, nearby.

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It usually happens as a natural event in Spring or Summer and is fortunately, most often averted by the beekeeper if recognised in time. 

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When a colony has decided to leave its original home, the swarm will settle or cluster on temporary accommodation usually, something like a gate post or tree branch. The swarm can stay here for as little as 5 minutes or 3 days while special scout bees take on the vital task of finding the ideal new home.  During this time, provided they are not harassed, these honeybees are generally quite docile. 

 

Honey bees will select their new home somewhere that offers protection from the weather and other invaders, a dry snugg fitting but with space for their expansion. Chosen homes can vary widely from a chimney pot, cavity within a tree trunk, shed, garage, bin to the difficult to access spaces within the fabric structure of a building.

 

Swarms of honey bees can usually be safely removed by a suitably qualified/experienced beekeeper if they are contacted in time.

 

If the honey bees have left their post swarming clustering place and taken up residence in the fabric of a building, that can be more difficult (if not impossible) to be safely dealt with by a beekeeper. Professional pest control personnel will be required to undertake the work either solely or in conjunction with a beekeeper.

 

If the honey bees are not causing a nuisance or a threat, they can be left alone. Some properties are known to have had honey bee colonies within their fabric for many years without causing any disturbance or problems to the property owner.

 

If you think you have a honey bee swarm please get in touch with us via our contact page, we may be able to help arrange for its removal.

 

The Killinchy Beekeepers Association

© KBKA 2016 

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