A swarm is a natural process of colony reproduction whereby the old Queen and about half or more of the old colony of worker bees leave the old hive in which they lived in and move location and seek out a new home for themselves. The old hive will remain with a new Queen who will have been a daughter of the old Queen.
The process usually begins in Spring, but can happen anytime from April to September in Ireland.
A swarm of bees are often described as a large cloud of bees that seem to drift through the air.
The number of bees in a swarm can vary from a couple of hundred to several thousand depending on the colony and on the time of year.
When bees are swarming it is unlikely that they will sting you but please take great care to avoid getting stung in case of any potential allergic reactions.
Often on their way to a new home, the Queen may decide to take a rest and land on something. This can often be a tree or hedge, lamppost or indeed chimney. The rest of the bees will gather around her to protect her, resembling a large cluster of bees like in the photos below.
Do not disturb them but take note of the swarm location using Google Maps and contact us or Swarms.ie immediately.
If possible, take a few photos of the swarm so that we or another beekeeper can identify if we need to bring any specialist equipment to the location like a tall ladder etc
Send the following information directly to us via WhatsApp:
1) Your name
2) The address or a Google Map pin or Eircode in order to quickly locate the area
3) Some photos or videos as to where the bees are located
4) Then phone us directly using the “Call a Beekeeper now” link above.
5) Alternatively, you can also report it directly to www.swarms.ie whereby the Stephen (who’s the webmaster and who runs the website for all of Ireland) will direct a local beekeeper to you ASAP.
6) Time is critical, so do not delay as they may enter someone’s chimney or attic causing a major headache for all concerned.