Portsmouth & District Beekeepers Association - Honey Bee Swarms

Portsmouth Beekeepers operate a swarm collection service to assist members of the public and to safeguard the valuable honey bee. If you get a swarm of Bees in your garden what can you do?

Swarms usually happen during the late morning or afternoon from April to August. If the Beekeeper can get to the swarm quickly the bees can usually be collected safely. Although a swarm of bees is normally harmless, they do frighten some people and it is best to leave them alone and keep your distance. When the bees arrive they will quickly form a cluster on a bush or tree. They will normally stay like that for the rest of the day.

Bees usually swarm when a colony is strong enough to divide. At that time half the bees and one queen will fly off to make a new home. This is just their way of reproduction and before they go they will gorge themselves on honey, taking enough food to survive for a little while. Do not be alarmed, just walk away and leave them to settle.
If you contact us we will try to arrange for a Beekeeper to come ASAP and the swarm to be collected in the early evening. Please be aware that bees should not be harmed or sprayed with pesticide.

Before calling please ensure they are Honey Bees and not Bumble Bees, Masonary Bees or Wasps. Please see our Know your Bees page to assist you with identification. We are very sorry but we cannot do anything about bumble bees, wasps or masonary bees. For wasps you will need a pest controller. For bumble bees and masonary bees its best to just leave them alone. Please see the pictures below for a typical swarm of Honey Bees. If bees are in the cavity of your house, chimney or roof then there is not much we can do without dismantling your house, something we are not insured to do.

If you see a swarm then please call one of the Beekeepers below and they will arrange for the nearest beekeeper to you to attend:

  1. John Geden - home 02392 461829 and Mobile: 07708 922013
  2. Bob Pendleton on 02392 598353 mob 07880 705973

Swarm collectors will require you to sign a disclaimer and it is polite to offer £20 towards expeneses, as usually it can be time consuming to collect swarms and will require several trips to your house and then a trip to where they will eventually be homed. As we all know fuel is expensive these days.

The area covered is about a 20 mile radius of Portsmouth. This will cover the whole of Portsmouth. Hayling Island, Havant, Waterlooville, Portchester, Wickham, Locks Heath, Fareham, Whiteley, Titchfield and Gosport. 


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Worried about your hives? Talk to the Bee Health Advisor

Loan Equipment

We have the following equipment available for loan to members Large honey extractor, Mini wax melter, Honey grading glasses, Honey settling tank, Electric de-capping knife and a selection of presentation material and bee suits for educational purposes. Contact David Nield or Cliff McGaughey

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