Do you have a swarm?

If you have a swarm, it is necessary to identify the correct insect, use the appropriate picture and descriptions below for more information.

Bumblebees are often confused with honeybees. However they are rounder, larger and furrier and come with a variety of coloured stripes across the end of their tails.  Are they nested  in a bird box, under the decking or in the compost, if so leave them alone if possible.  Bumblebees are an important pollinator and rarely sting.  By the autumn they will evacuate their home as only the newly mated queen survives to hibernate, unlike honeybees.  For more information about bumblebees visit the Bumblebee Conservation Trust website.

Wasps – are they very smooth, mainly yellow with black stripes?  Is there a brown, football sized nest in the roof of your house? Are they coming from a nest in a tree?  Is there a nest in the shed?  Do they have a high pitched buzz?  Are they after all things sweet?  Then these are probably Wasps.

Solitary Bees – are there lots of small bees coming and going from small holes in the ground or in a wall?  Are they reddish, brown or almost black?  These are Solitary Bees, they are harmless and as their name suggest live more or less alone. They aren’t interested in you and should be left alone.

Honeybees are small and vary in colour from golden brown to almost black.  Please note if you have honey bees in the structure of your property, the local voluntary swarm collector will not be able to remove them.

For further more detailed information and to find a local swarm collector follow this link to the British Beekeeping Association’s Swarm Information page.