Shropshire Beekeepers' Association

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If you are not a beekeeper, a swarm of honeybees may look and sound quite daunting. However, there is no need to panic because unless attacked they are very unlikely to sting anyone. However, it is important that you do nothing to disturb or disperse them, not only because there is then more danger of being stung but also because honeybees, which are vital for plant pollination, are under severe threat from parasites and diseases and need our protection. By calling in a beekeeper you will therefore be helping the bees and the environment.

Swarms mostly appear between April and July and are the result of overcrowding in their home colony. When that happens, the queen bee and most of the older bees will leave to find a new home elsewhere. Their usual behaviour is to gather in a convenient spot (i.e. convenient for them!) and cluster together while a number of 'scout' bees go looking for a suitable site to set up a new colony. This can take anything between an hour and a couple of days. It is at this point that they can most easily be collected by a beekeeper. N.B. If the bees are left to their own devices they may move on to colonise a chimney, wall cavity or roof space, at which point it will only be possible to remove them by employing a suitably equipped and insured pest-removal service.

So if you see such a swarm of bees 'hanging about' please contact a beekeeper from the list below (all of whom are members of the Shropshire Beekeepers' Association) who will do his/her best to remove it for you. Please note, however, that we cannot work miracles. A swarm on a branch overhanging a pond or the glass roof of a conservatory, or 30 feet up a tree, may present an insuperable problem. Beekeepers also have other commitments and may not be able to drop everything to attend to your request immediately. However we usually try our best, because a feral colony, while unlikely to survive more than year or two, can be quite a nuisance in the meantime.

One final point before you make that call.
There are many different kinds of flying
insect so please be as sure as you can be
that the insects you can see are actually
honeybees ......

not wasps* ......  

 ....or bumble bees: these are also under threat
and should not be disturbed. They are
extremely unlikely to sting and their small nests
do not survive over the winter. Please note also that
bumble-bees vary widely in size. While the queen,
mostly seen flying in the Spring, is large,
the workers may be quite small.

If you are still not certain about the identity of the insects you can see, there is further information here.   These pictures of some typical swarms may also help:

Members of the Shropshire BKA who are available to help with swarms are listed below. To find one in your area please click your nearest location on the map below. If no one close to you is available, try a neighbouring district. ( Oswestry BKA, North Shropshire BKA and Ludlow BKA also have members who may be able to help).

Beekeepers round Ellesmere Beekeepers round Oswestry Beekeepers round Wem Beekeepers round Whitchurch Beekeepers round Market Drayton See Market Drayton Contact Oswestry/North Shropshire BKA Beekeepers round Baschurch Beekeepers round Shrewsbury See Shrewsbury Beekeepers round Newport Beekeepers round Telford See Telford Beekeepers round Much Wenlock See Much Wenlock Beekeepers round Bridgnorth Beekeepers round Church Stretton See Church Stretton or Ludlow See Ludlow See Ludlow Ludlow See Ludlow See Ludlow See Ludlow

Whitchurch Area
NSBKA Website

Ellesmere Area
Paul Jandrell : Tel. 01691 690309

Wem Area
NSBKA Website

Oswestry Area
Glyn Williams: Tel. 01691 860741
Anthony Rigby: Tel. 01691 828851; Mob. 07751 163054
Glyn Jones : Tel. 01691 654448

Market Drayton Area
Tony Little: Tel. 01630 638267
Malcolm McDonald: Tel. 01630 656646

Baschurch Area
Glyn Williams: Tel. 01691 860741
Tony Gray: Tel. 01691 672869

Shrewsbury Area
Brian Goodwin: Tel. 01743 884524
Paul Herbert: Tel. 01743 891747; Mob.07403 731661
Tony Phillips: Tel. 01694 751719
Jeremy Charlton : Tel.01694 724673
Peter Bound: Tel. 07896 045443
John Brown: Tel. 01743 350951
Roy Mullins; Tel. 07821 907714
Ivor Huckin: Tel. 01952 510307 Mob. 07817969676

Newport Area
Gordon Rugg: Tel. 01952 691631 Mob. 07772 442819
Ronnie Sinclair: Tel. 01952 252351
(See also Telford Area below)

Telford Area
Stuart Foster: Tel. 07732 505249
Ronnie Sinclair: Tel. 01952 252351
Roy Mullins; Tel. 07821 907714
Ivor Huckin: Tel. 01952 510307 Mob. 07817969676

Much Wenlock Area
Peter Hampson: Tel. 01952 727636
Ivor Huckin: Tel. 01952 510307/07817969676

Bridgnorth Area
Peter Hampson: Tel. 01952 727636
Ivor Huckin: Tel. 01952 510307/07817 969676

Church Stretton Area
Joe Collins: Tel. 01694 722215 Mob. 07906 081907
Tony Phillips: Tel. 01694 751719
Jeremy Charlton : Tel.01694 724673
Peter Bound: Tel. 07896 045443
Trisha Marlow: 07812 518822

Ludlow & South Shropshire
Trisha Marlow: 07812 518822

See also:
Ludlow BKA

This website, with its further links to others, may be helpful to you if you are having trouble with wasps.