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Edinburgh & Midlothian Beekeepers' Association

Swarms

EMBA can offer advice and collection of honey bee swarms in Edinburgh and the Lothians. This service is entirely run by volunteers, and no charge is made for this service – though a donation to EMBA is always welcome!

However most of the contact we receive about problems with bees actually turn out to be wasps or bumble bees. Unfortunately we do not have the expertise or resources to help with other insects.

Click this button to help identify the type of insect you are having problems with:

We cannot offer advice or support about other insect problems such as wasps or bumble bees.

Swarming

If you definitely have a problem with a swarm of honey bees, you can contact us by calling 07906 076873. Please ONLY use this number for swarms of honey bees, where speed of contact is important. We cannot offer advice or support about other insect problems such as wasps or bumble bees.

If you have a problem with honey bees nesting in a property, you can contact us using the Contact Form (again we cannot offer advice or support about other insect problems such as wasps or bumble bees).

Swarming usually occurs in late spring and summer when the queen leaves the hive or nest with all the the adult flying bees leaving behind enough young bees, larvae, eggs and prepared queen cells to keep the colony going. This is the natural way in which honey bees increase their numbers.

A swarm will travel to a new location and may land on trees, bushes, walls, posts or anything convenient to wait while the scouts find a new permanent home. A swarm can be an unwelcome guest when this happens.

If you encounter a swarm, you should take the following steps:

  • Keep any people, children and pets or other animals away from the swarm.
  • If possible, alert passers-by to the presence of the swarm so that they don’t accidentally disturb it.
  • Don’t do anything to provoke or disturb the swarm to try to get it to move on. The swarm will only move when it is ready to do so, and interference might result in stings!
  • If you need to move around near the swarm, do so in a calm, controlled manner, avoiding making any sudden movements or loud noises.
A swarm of honey bees