Haddenham.net

Caring for Honey Bees

Home » News » Caring for Honey Bees
Bee Swarm_01
Bee Swarm_02
Bee Swarm & Keeper 01
Bee Swarm & Keeper 02
Bee Swarm & Keeper 03

Most of us are aware that the humble bee plays a vitally important part in the pollination of flowering plants and that this process underpins a major part of British food production. So, although some of us may be a little wary of these insects, their welfare is very much in everyone's interest.

In recent years the honey bee has been in decline. This makes it even more important that we do not rush into knee-jerk reactions, wanting to see bees killed when they appear in significant numbers near our homes or places or work.

Here, local beekeeper Brian Bush outlines the best way of dealing with a swarm of bees, if you happen to encounter one.

Honey Bee Swarms
Swarms such as the ones pictured are merely Colonies that are in transition. Normally these Swarms are found hanging from tree branch, fence post or any place where the swarm can gather close to the Queen while scouts are sent out to look for a more permanent home.

A swarm left alone will only be in place from just a few minutes to a few hours and occasionally a few days.

Generally these swarms are very docile and the swarming Bees usually will not sting. When Honey Bees swarm they gorge themselves with honey before leaving the hive which makes it very hard for them to double over and sting.

What Causes Honey Bees to Swarm?
Honey Bees have a natural instinct to survive by sending out new colonies. They may also swarm through overcrowding or because an old queen is thought to be failing and they wish to raise a new one. Honey Bees usually swarm in early spring just as the colony is building up numbers in anticipation of the upcoming honey flow but swarming can happen through to late summer .

It is difficult to predict if weather conditions will lead to a large number of swarms in any particular year.

What to Do If You See a Swarm
Declining Honey Bee numbers make the collection of swarms an important part of the work of bee keepers. You should never interfere with a swarm and pest control companies will not kill a swarm unless absolutely necessary.

Please contact:
Brian Bush — Mid Bucks Beekeepers and BBKA collector
Tel: 01844 292 195
Mob: 07767 304 067

Sean Kirwan Mid Bucks Beekeepers BBKA collector
07850 085767

BBKA British Bee Keepers Association website

popular recent storiesAlso in the news

Van Theft 02
Haddenham Webteam: Thu 21 Jun 4:30pm

According to local police, there have been a few thefts from motor vehicles in Haddenham and surrounding areas over the last week or two. No specific modus operandi has been adopted — entry has been forced on some vehicles but also insecure vehicles have been targeted. Residents are asked to report anything suspicious in the village. Tel: 101 Mob: 07973 210068Also, to ensure that no...

Road Names 03a
Haddenham Webteam: Thu 21 Jun 1:30pm

As regular visitors to the Haddenham.net Facebook page will be aware, the parish council recently invited local residents to suggest road names for the new Dandara (Glebe/Aston Road) development .Suggestions came thick and fast, and included names based on such local links as:Former VicarsChurch SeasonsPeasant family names from 1820...

Flat Lager
Haddenham Webteam: Wed 20 Jun 6:15pm

Haddenham teenager Kyle Eldridge looks set for a promising musical career.He features on drums in local band Flat Lager — recently described as "fresh new groove grunge rock with funky/alt danceable tunes".(Editor's note: hopefully some of our readers know what that means!)The band's line-up: Kyle Eldridge (drums) from Haddenham, Owen Peach (vocals/lead guitar) from...