A swarm in June…

June is a common time for honey bees to swarm in Wales. Swarming bees are not generally aggressive, but they are noisy and can be quite frightening. The main thing to do if you have a swarm is not panic. It is sensible to shut your windows and doors if the bees are showing an interest in your property.

Honey bee swarm congregating at a church
Honey bee swarm congregating at a church
The bees will pack tightly around their queen in the place they have chosen to settle.
The bees will pack tightly around their queen in the place they have chosen to settle.

Swarms are valuable and coveted by bee keepers. If you get a swarm in your garden, the “right” thing to do is to call your local Beekeepers Association and they will arrange for somebody to collect the swarm.

However, if you have an idea who the bees might belong to, it is worthwhile trying to contact them first. In a way, losing a swarm is like losing any other livestock and most often the person who owns them would like them back…

In Wales, the contact details for local Beekeepers Associations are available on the Welsh Beekeepers Association website. In England, the British Beekeepers Association website has a postcode search tool to find your nearest swarm collector.

The old saying regarding the timing of swarms is:

A swarm in May is worth a load of hay;

A swarm in June is worth a silver spoon;

A swarm in July is not worth a fly.

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