- Mary Hunter
- April 17, 2009
If you find a swarm of honey bees
- Protect it, they are valuable to the environment
- Contact the local Council or a local beekeeper
Why is it important to protect a swarm of honey bees?
Honey bees are important to the production of food because of their part in pollination. Approximately 30% of our food is pollinated by bees. Honey bees are currently under threat because they are vulnerable to infestation by Varroa Destructor which is a parasitic mite that lives on the honey bee and has part of its life cycle in the hive. It feeds on developing bees and causes them to be deformed. This weakens colonies, makes them more susceptible to viruses, and causes them to die out.
Be aware that honey bees are protected by law and may not be destroyed.
Swarming is the natural method of reproduction of the honey bee. Half the bees and the old queen leave the hive and set up a new colony elsewhere. They are not usually aggressive at this stage.
If you find a swarm of honey bees please help them by doing one of three things:
- contact the local beekeeping association, by email enfieldbeekeepers.org.uk
- phone the local beekeeping association on 020 8367 8452 or 07930 829856
- contact the local Council, who will pass you on to a local beekeeper.
The so called “killer” bees, or Africanised honeybees, are not present in the UK.
Please note, beekeepers may not be able to remove swarms that are inaccessible such as in a chimney or wall cavity. In these instances you may need to call a pest control company.
If you have a wasps’ nest that is a nuisance, please call the local Council, or a pest control company. Beekeepers generally are not able to deal with wasp nests.