|Honey for sale|
ARE YOU SURE THEY'RE HONEY BEES?
Many people do not know the difference between similar looking insects
and assume they have a swarm of honeybees when they may have a wasps'
nest or a bumble bees' nest instead.
|A Honeybee||A Common Wasp||A Bumblebee|
HOW WILL I KNOW?
Honeybees may be light coloured - a dull yellow or brown - through to dark brown, and are fairly uniformly coloured, with indistinct markings. By contrast, wasps have very distinct bright yellow and black markings and if you can see their nest it is a grey papery ball. Bumble bees are usually larger than honeybees or wasps, are very "furry" and may be black and yellow, black with a white or orange tail and often make their small nests in birdboxes, compost heaps, airbricks etc (see article). For more information go to the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust
WHAT IS A SWARM?
Sometimes a colony of bees becomes too big for its home - a hive, hollow tree, disused chimney etc. - and then the queen and many of the bees leave to find a new home. This is a swarm. Whilst scouts search for a new home the main body of the swarm will hang in a large cluster on a convenient tree, bush or post.
WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Don't panic. They will not hurt anyone unless disturbed. Before leaving their old home they fill themselves with honey and are quite docile. Leave them alone and contact one of the following:
They can put you in touch with a beekeeper who will come and remove the swarm, or see below.
Please remember that all kinds of bees (and many other insects) are valuable for pollination - Never destroy them needlessly.