COUNTY NEWS: Warning issued after swarming bees are killed

Melvyn Essen. Chairman Central Sussex Beekeepers Association
Melvyn Essen. Chairman Central Sussex Beekeepers Association

A warning has gone out to the public after a number of swarming bees were killed in a Sussex town.

Melvyn Essen, chairman of the Central Sussex Beekeepers’ Association, is urging people not to tackle bee swarms but to seek help.

He said: “I have been to collect two swarms, one in Southwater (near Horsham) which had been poisoned and the other one had been drenched with a hosepipe and then a garden fertiliser was thrown over it covering the bees.

“About two thirds of the bees were dead but I managed to collect the remaining, hoping the queen is alive.

“The bees were very angry so if you have a swarm arrive in your garden keep your children and pets at a distance and do not disturb the bees.

“Go onto the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) website, click on ‘I have a swarm’, read the information they provide and then put in your postcode and you will get a list of your nearest swarm collectors.

“A lot of the collectors work and are busy with their own bees so be patient, they will respond. We do this work voluntarily and not for personal gain so a small donation to our association would be appreciated.

“Only honey bees swarm, wasps and bumble bees do not swarm so we do not collect them. Swarming is a perfectly natural process and is a way that honey bee colonies procreate.

“If you have an existing nest in your house roof etc please contact ‘Bee Gone’ and not a swarm collector.”

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