Why Do Bees Swarm?

Swarming is the natural means of reproduction of honey bee colonies. A new honey bee colony is formed when the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees, a process called swarming. In the prime swarm, about 60% of the worker bees leave the original hive location with the old queen. This swarm can contain thousands to tens of thousands of bees. Swarming is mainly a spring phenomenon, usually within a two- or three-week period depending on the locale, but occasional swarms can happen throughout the producing season.

If you encounter a swarm of honeybees in a public place or one settles on your property, please in the first instance try to confirm that it is indeed a honeybee swarm by looking at the guide on the British Beekeepers Association website. Once you have confirmed it is a swarm of honey bees please contact our swarm coordinator on 01524 858247 or complete the Contact us link on this site.

  • If you see a swarm, remember it’s a good thing, but do not interfere with it yourself.
  • If you are in the Lancaster/Lune valley area contact our swarm coordinators in Lancaster 01524 858247.
  • They will advise you and organise a local beekeeper to deal with the problem if appropriate.

Outside this area

  • Visit www.britishbee.org.uk and click the SWARM link to find out useful information and your local swarm officer.
  • Alternatively call the British Beekeepers Swarm Line on 07896 751205 open Mon – Friday 9.00 am to 5.30 pm.
  • Or alternatively, contact the local council or police station.