Bradford Council does not offer a bees nest removal service.

What is a swarm?

Each swarm contains a queen bee and around 20,000 worker bees

Wasps and bumblebees don't swarm, so if you see a swarm it will be made up of honey bees.

How do I tell if it is a swarm?

A bee swarm is a large population (around 20,000 worker bees and a queen bee) which has left its original hive (nest) in order to find a new home. Swarms look a ball of bees which often cling to a structure such as a tree branch, parts of buildings or other structures.

Bees swarm from April to July, but the peak is from early May to mid June.

Honey bees swarm because they are looking for a site for a new colony. It is a natural. Bees are good for the environment.

Wasps and bumblebees don't swarm, so if you see a swarm it will be made up of honey bees.

The British Beekeepers Association website has pictures and information to help you work out if what you have a bee swarm.

What to do

Keep calm and carry on!

Swarms are not dangerous unless disturbed or aggravated (for example if sprayed with water). Left alone, swarms are harmless.

Because they only rarely survive in the wild, honey bee swarms need to be captured by trained beekeepers and placed in beehives where they can form a new colony. This should happen as soon as possible because once the swarm takes up residence, for example in a chimney or other inaccessible place, it may be difficult to remove them safely.

Details of your nearest volunteer swarm coordinator can be found on the British Beekeepers Association website.

Alternatively, contact us or a police station who can also offer advice.

How to help honey bees

Beekeepers are essential to maintaining a healthy UK bee population, but beekeeping is not for everyone. The British Beekeepers Association has set up a scheme called Adopt A Beehive. Members of the public make an annual donation of £30 to the scheme which supports research and education into beekeeping and bee health. Supporters receive a welcome pack, a quarterly newsletter and regular updates from the regional beehive they have adopted.


Contact details

Environmental Health
Britannia House

Phone : 01274 433926

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