What to do if you encounter a swarm of bees

A swarm of bees

A swarm of bees

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Spring is coming, and with it comes an increase in the swams of bees taking up residence on trees and in roof spaces.

But what should you do if you come across a swarm of bees?

A swarm of bees is picked up in Lancing. Picture by Eddie Mitchell

A swarm of bees is picked up in Lancing. Picture by Eddie Mitchell

Expert Martin Hill says: “Swarming is a natural instinct for bees and all colonies if left to their own devices will eventually swarm.

“This is part of their means of reproduction; if they didn’t there would be no bees.

“The swarm has to find a new home but in the meantime it will find a branch, fence or a gate to hang off.

“Worker bees scout around until they find a suitable tree, chimney or roof space and then return to the swarm to show them the way to their new home. This can take a few minutes or a couple of days.

Tony Cropley, swarm collector for Chichester, collects more than 4,000 bees that had gathered outside shops in the town

Tony Cropley, swarm collector for Chichester, collects more than 4,000 bees that had gathered outside shops in the town

“Prior to leaving the nest they will fill up with honey to last them on their journey, so they need to find somewhere before they get hungry.

“Swarms of bees are not normally aggressive but best not approached, sprayed with water or have things thrown at them.

“The best course of action is to call a local beekeeper that can re-home them safely.

“There are several beekeepers in our area but the best place to check is the British Bee Keepers Association website - click here

“There you can put in your post code and all the local collectors will be listed.”

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