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WDBKA - Swarms

Found a swarm of honeybees?

If you have found a swarm of honeybees in the Winchester area then it is likely we can help. Co-ordinators for nearby associations can be found on the national association web site.

First Steps

  1. Donít panic! While the sight of hundreds or thousands of bees can be daunting, be assured that bees are usually docile when swarming and wonít be looking for trouble. However, be sensible.  Leave them alone, and keep people and pets at a distance.  Donít try to move them on, and donít try to kill them.  Youíll most likely fail to move or kill them all, and will only cause excitement.
  2. Assuming you can get close enough to the swarm safely, try to positively identify them as honeybees.  Compare the bees you can see with photos of common garden wasps and bees.
    Bumblebees should be left alone wherever possible as their numbers are in decline, and their existence is to be conserved for the benefit of the environment. Wasps can be removed by Winchester City Councilís Pest Control subcontractors or registered pest controllers.

Next Steps

Contact the associationís swarm co-ordinator. The co-ordinator will require the following information before coming out to see you.

  1. Where is the swarm of bees? Not only your address, but also how high above the ground (will a ladder be necessary?) and accessibility (can we reach them by hand?)
  2. When did the swarm arrive? Do you know roughly when the bees settled in their current location?  Do you know or suspect where they came from?
  3. How big is the cluster of bees? Is it the size of a football, tennis ball, golf ball?

Please give your name and contact information, and the co-ordinator will arrange a time and place to meet the swarm collector.


Please remember that we collect swarms as a voluntary service to you and the bees.  We wonít be able to help with swarms that are too difficult or risky to collect, and we cannot guarantee the bees will be successfully removed.

Where the swarm collector has had to travel some distance, or spend some time collecting the bees there may be a small charge.  In any case, a contribution to the association funds is rarely refused!


If you are a beekeeper interested in receiving a swarm, you can apply to be added to our swarm list.

Photo of swarm ©Anauxite



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