. Coventry & District Branch . of the Warwickshire Beekeepers Association
.               Coventry & District Branch.                         of theWarwickshire Beekeepers Association

Swarms & concerns about the presence of bees on your premises

IDENTIFICATION: If you have bees on your premises and are concerned about what type of bee they are, PLEASE TRY TO IDENTIFY THEM by using the information on these pages (Identifying Common Bee Types) before you pursue the options given below. Swarm collection is for Honey Bee swarms only!

 

SWARM COLLECTION - PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING......

I'm afraid that our small band of hobbyist beekeepers can only collect honey bee swarms that are in an accessible location as a cluster (e.g. tree branch or shrub) and can be cut free straight into a swarm collecting box.
If you have a swarm cluster of this nature, please contact the British Beekeepers Association (http://www.bbka.org.uk/help/do_you_have_a_swarm.php) who maintain a list of beekeepers who may be available to remove honey bee swarms. Follow the links on the website given above and enter your postcode. They get hundreds of enquiries during the swarming season (approx April to July) so please understand that beekeepers give up a huge amount of their personal time (and petrol) to do this voluntarily even though many of them are in full-time work. Hence they would appreciate you being as sure as you can be that it is a Honey Bee Swarm they are attending to.

 

BEES IN BIRD BOXES

Are almost certainly bumble bees or possibly a strain of solitary bee. They tend to nest temporarily and move on later in the summer. They are usually pretty harmless unless there is close contact with human activity. Honey bees would be extremely unlikely to nest in a bird box - it is much too small for a honey bee colony. If they really are a problem to you, it may be possible to approach the bird box when almost dark, and stick wide tape (e.g. parcel or masking tape) over the entrance. The box could then be moved to another location - provided you made sure you weren't affecting anyone else - and perhaps nailed to a suitable tree or post (If this is on private land you should get the permission of the landowner). Stand to one side of the box, whip the tape off, and move away in the opposite direction of the bird box entrance. If this action is carried out during the day (e.g. by a beekeeper), most of the bees that were out foraging will return to the original site of the bird box and buzz around angrily when they find it's not there. So you're not much better off! Also the bird box nest, once moved, will die off through lack of foraging bees to feed it. If the box is going to be sealed it must be when almost dark so that all the bees are inside. If you attempt this yourself you do so at your own risk!
 
BEES IN A ROOF SPACE OR SIMILAR
Again if they are bumble bees or another form of single bee they will not remain there. They will leave once new queens have emerged. If they are honey bees, this situation is too difficult to deal with by a swarm-collecting beekeeper as they can't easily collect the cluster with the queen inside. If they are really bothering you, you may need to contact a pest control service.
Coventry Council have a pest control service but they are very reluctant to treat if they can possibly help it due to the significant reduction in bee numbers (of all types) that we are experiencing. See http://www.coventry.gov.uk/info/64/animals_and_pests/328/pest_control/10.
One thing that has been tried when really necessary is placing petrol-soaked rags in the area of the nest so that the fumes drive them out. However, there are obvious hazards in doing that, both in terms of a fire hazard and you getting stung. SO THAT IS NOT A RECOMMENDATION BY CBKA, and if you decide to try it, it is entirely at your own risk.
 
If our swarm collection arrangements above can't accommodate you there is a professional swarm collecting service available.
Ring Freephone 0800 373 023 to speak to David Snelson or Andy Thompson. They advertise a 24hr, 365 day/yr, emergency service. PLEASE NOTE:- They will charge for this service. Also they are not connected to Coventry BKA, so our branch takes no responsibility for this service.



Current News!

CBKA Honey Show 2017

Information on this year's CBKA Honey Show is all available here!

 

Beekeeping Taster Afternoons 2017

Bookings are now being taken for these popular events that give you a first insight into Beekeeping. Click HERE for details.

 

Beekeeping Course 2017

We ran our annual full weekend Beginner's Beekeeping Course on 18/19 February 2017.

If you wish to register your interest in next year's course, please click HERE!

 

Branch Apiary

Take a look at our branch apiary and view the programme of activities.

 

Local Honey

If you wish to purchase local honey, please follow this link.

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© Bill Crofts