Swarming bees can be an alarming sight, particularly when they land in your garden. But it is important to realise that swarming bees are not actually out to harm us. Rather, they are just looking for a new home.

  • Swarming is a natural, reproductive process that is non-threatening to humans.
  • Swarms most often occur in late spring or early summer, when a new queen is born and the old queen leaves the hive to start a new colony elsewhere.
  • Swarming bees will often hang in a cluster, usually from a tree branch, while scout bees look for a new home.

However, there are many kinds of bee-like insects and, as Cleveland Beekeepers Association members will only remove honeybees, it is important that you identify what kind of bees you have, before calling for a beekeeper.

Please use the questionaire below to find out:

Do they look like these?
Are they round and very hairy with a yellow/white or orange band on their tail/bottom? Are they like stripy footballs? Do they make a very loud buzzing sound? Are they living in an old bird box, a compost heap, under the decking, a hole in the ground, under the eves of the house?
  • Bumble Bee
  • Bumble Bee
  • Bumble Bee

These are Bumble Bees

Bumble Bee

Leave them alone if possible. Bumble Bees are important pollinators and rarely sting. Beekeepers do not deal with Wasps. You can get more information on moving Bumble Bees by visiting the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

Do they look like these?
Are they very smooth with yellow and black stripes? Is the nest in the roof of your house? Are they coming from a round nest in a tree? Is there a nest in the shed? Do they have a high pitched buzz? Are they interested in sweet sugary foods?
  • Wasp
  • Wasp
  • Wasp

These are Wasps


These are usually a problem in late summer/early autumn. If left alone they will die out over winter. If they are causing a problem you should contact your local council or other pest control service. Beekeepers do not deal with Wasps.

Do they look like these?
Are they large, with a velvety brown or black thorax and brown abdomen? Are the face and legs an orange/yellow colour?
  • Hornet
  • Hornet
  • Hornet

These are hornets


These could be Asian Hornets, an invasive species. Please try and take a photo and capture if possible (but DO NOT put yourself at risk as they have a powerful sting). Please contact our hornet liaison officer
Name: David Gawthorpe
Mobile: 07801 286284
Phone: 01642 864025
Email: hornet@clevelandbeekeepers.org.uk

Do they look like these?
Do they have golden brown or dark brown bands? Are they slightly furry? Are they formed in a clump and hanging from a tree, gate post, chimney or similar? Are there thousands of them swirling around in the air? Are they the same size as a house fly?
  • Honey Bee
  • Honey Bee
  • Honey Bee

These are Honeybees!

Honey Bee

You will need a Beekeeper to deal with them..

The following beekeepers are prepared to assist you in dealing with swarms of honeybees (but not bumblebees, wasps or other kinds of bees) adhering to the BBKA protocol. Call the one nearest to you. However, please note:

  • The beekeeper may want you to send them a picture of the swarm.
  • There may be a nominal call-out charge to cover travel costs.
  • This service is provided on a voluntary basis.
  • Our beekeepers will not remove bees that have moved into a building (e.g. a wall cavity or chimney).

The map shows Beekeepers close to your location.

Swarm Collectors in Teesside
David Gawthorpe
Yarm, Eaglescliffe 07801 286284
01642 864025
Neville Thompson
Yarm, Eaglescliffe 07712 547656
John Baines
Middlesbrough, Stokesley , Great Ayton 07758 466303
Stephen Bradley
Stockton 01642 645803
Kate Brennan
Stokesley,Great Ayton, Great Broughton 07925 545156
John Canning
Middlesbrough, South Bank, Normanby, Eston 07713 166215
Steve Jacklin
Norton, Billingham, Stockton, Sedgefield, Wynyard, Thorpe Thewles 07769 660133
Stuart Kirby
Newby, Middlesbrough, Great Ayton, Stokesley 07783 195219
01642 314520
Sal Mancina
Hutton Rudby, Stokesley, Great Ayton, Yarm 07909 179681
01642 701638
David Mercer
Stokesley, Great Ayton, Great Broughton 07932 275886
Tony Steinberg
Norton, Billingham, Stockton on Tees 07907534765
Chris Wase
Stockton,Billingham, Norton, Thornaby, Redcar, Hartlepool 07851 829813
Geoff Wilson
Middlesbrough 07504 009235
Unal Metti
Eaglescliffe, Thornaby 07483 224646
Sylvia Grieve
Kirklevington 07857348566
Karen Hall
Hutton Rudby, Stokesley, Great Ayton, Yarm 07876448796
Emily Jackson
Eaglescliffe, Yarm 07828041989
Isobel Russell
Guisborough 07967293195
Sam Hutchinson
Eaglescliffe, Yarm 07734497734
Paul Berriman
Stockton-on-Tees 07788913654
Solitary Bees
Solitary bees (which often live together) come in many species. They are valuable pollinators and rarely a problem. In fact, you can encourage them by putting up bee-hotels. One species, the Mason Bee, often makes its home in air-bricks. Beekeepers do not deal with Solitary Bees and most die out in winter.

  • Honey Bee
  • Honey Bee
  • Honey Bee