This is the time of year when honey bees can create a swarm, as they move to create a new nest. People across Kent are already beginning to find large clusters of beesin their gardens and around the county.
There have been numerous sightings of large swarms in peoples gardens, or huge clusters of bees on the move from one place to another. A family in Canterbury recently discovered a large swarm gathered on their garden fence, which required the assistance of a beekeeper to safely remove.
Swarms and clusters are seen through springtime, mainly from late April through to the start of July. This is a very important time in the life cycle of honey bees, as the Queen heads out with around half of the original colony in search of a new home.
Scout bees then scour the surroundings to find an ideal spot to nest, looking for a suitable cavity to move into. Bee swarms are a fairly common occurrence here in the Garden of England.
Clusters can remain for up to 48 hours in one location while scouts search for a new home. However, while clusters may contain several hundred bees at a time, they are typically very docile at this stage and do not pose much danger to people, if left alone, as the primary focus of the swarm is protecting the Queen.
While the sight of a large cluster can be quite a scary thing for some, there are two bits of advice for what to do should you encounter a swarm.
The first one is if you have a swarm that is found as a cluster that might be on a branch, on a gatepost, on a wall is that they tend to be very docile at that point, they are not interested in people, they are not interested in stinging you so you don’t need to be worried about them. Ideally, you should contact a local beekeeper who will be able to safely remove them for you. They will put them into a box to take home to the colony for them to look after.
The second situation is if you’re out and you find a bunch of airborne bees. You may find it is a very impressive situation, as the air goes black and thick with bees, and you will hear a loud roaring sound as they all fly around. Again, you don’t need to be worried about that situation because they’re not interested in stinging or attacking, they’re not being aggressive.
If you see a big swarm of bees around and you’re outdoors, just walk calmly and gently away from them. Don’t wave your arms around, don’t agitate them, just move slowly and gently away and you will be fine.