Help ! We’ve got a swarm of bees in the garden

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

Do they look like this?

These are Bumble Bees

Leave them alone if possible. Bumble bees are important pollinators and rarely sting. You can get more information on moving Bumble Bees from The Bumble Bee Conservation Trust. Beekeepers do not deal with Bumble Bees.

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.

This is probably a swarm of Honeybees

The following beekeepers are prepared to assist you in dealing with swarms of honey bees (but not bumble bees, wasps or other bees)adhering to the BBKA protocol – call the one nearest to you.

Please note the following:

  • 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 totally voluntary basis.

Swarms will only be removed if this can be done safely within the government’s COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.

The map shows Beekeepers close to your location. If there are no Beekeepers shown then try zooming out or choose from the list below.

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The collectors on this list have given permission to Cleveland Beekeepers Association to publish their details. Please do not print and share this page but instead revisit this page and answer the questions.

This is probably an Asian Hornet

Please try and take a photo and capture if possible (do NOT put yourself at risk as they have a powerful sting). These are an invasive species, please contact our hornet liaison officer.

Name:Steve Jacklin
Mobile:07769 660133
Email:Email Asian Hornet Team

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?

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?

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

It is big, up to 3cm long, predominantly dark with yellow legs.

These are probably Solitary Bees or other insects

Solitary bees (which paradoxically often live together) come in many species. They are valuable pollinators and rarely a problem. They will die out in winter. In fact many people like to encourage them by putting up bee-hotels as seen above. One species of solitary bee is called the Mason Bee as it often likes to make its home in air-bricks. Beekeepers do not deal with Solitary Bees.