The Dartford Beekeepers
Dartford Branch of the Kent Beekeepers’ Association
Andy is still pre disposed with family matters that we hope will soon be resolved and wish those concerned a speedy recovery. However when I spoke to Andy last he wished to have information on line for the swarm season regarding what a swarm is.
So on his behalf I will convey the information he would like to share.
A honey bee swarm is a natural phenomenon where the colony splits to make 2 colonies and so increase the number of honey bee colonies in and area. Before they swarm they slim the queen down and fill their honey stomachs as they need this to produce the wax needed to create a new home. They then push the queen out of the hive or nest and then buzz around until they find her and settle around her to protect her ( she is the only one who can lay eggs and so with out her they would die out).
This is a honey bee swarm and will move on once they find a suitable site to call home. If a swarm descends on your home like in the picture below then call a beekeeper who can come and remove them and give them a good home, do not wait until they move into a chimney or cavity wall when we can no longer remove a viable colony as we are unlikely to get the Queen out.
This is a homey bee swarm
They will hang on a branch
or shrub or group together on
a wall or the floor but a few
bees buzzing around a whole
in the ground or wall is more
likely to be a bumble bee nest
in the last week or 2 of its life.
If you have a swarm call Kevin
the local swarm co-ordinator
for Dartford and area on 07919
404873 and he will attend or dispatch some one local to you to remove them if it is possible.
Bumble Bees are rounder and
fluffy their nest contains far less
numbers and is only live for about
3 months there is next to no
chance of being stung by a
Bumble Bee unless you sit on one.
Nearly all Solitary Bees can not sting and each is only around for a matter of days or a week or two, they are also normally quite small.
Wasps are Yellow and Black striped and
are the most likely to sting and repeatedly.
Wasps build a nest that hangs from a beam
or shed roof that is like a paper machete
ball, do not disturb or poke it.