Swarms might appear anytime between April to August depending on the season, area and conditions within the hive. They are clusters of honeybees about the size of a football and may contain around 5,000 – 10,000 individual bees. The swarm can settle on a bush, tree, wall or even a lamppost. They can appear around noon on warm, dry and wind-free days.

Swarming is a natural occurrence and swarms are often good natured because they have just eaten lots of honey. They shouldn’t present a risk as long as you don’t interfere with them, but don’t try to handle a swarm if you are not an experienced beekeeper.

Local swarm collectors

Local beekeepers may collect a swarm free of charge as it will provide a new honey-producing colony. However, if the swarm is inaccessible or the bees have moved into a cavity, such as a wall, chimney or tree hollow, then it may not be possible to collect.

If you see a swarm in the Ealing area the easiest way to get a local swarm collector to come and collect the swarm is by going to the BBKA  Find a Swarm Collector page and by providing a postcode it will give you a list of local swarm collectors.

More advice is available on swarms from the British Beekeepers Association.

Local pest control

Beekeepers do not provide a service for dealing with wasp or bumble bee nests. A charge may be made if the swarm is on commercial premises or if the beekeeper is called out to something that is not a honeybee swarm.

Your local authority may provide a service for wasp nests and private pest control contractors can be found online or in telephone directories.

Alternatively, you may want to leave the nest alone. Read more about wasps and bumblebees.