Honey Bee Swarms


Honey bees can commonly be mistaken for wasps so it is important to identify which of the two you have.

Wasps and honey bees are around the same size but there are some differences. Wasps have alternating black and bright yellow body stripes whereas honey bees are brown with paler brown or yellow bands. Bumblebees are furry.

bumble bee
Bumble Bee
honey bee
Honey Bee

If you are unsure then please refer to the Scottish Beekeepers Association Website (see external links on this page) or their The Wild Bees of Scotland Identification Guide is available to download from this page. If you have wasps or bumblebees, then please refer to the SBA main Frequently Asked Questions page.

Swarm Cluster

Honey Bees Swarming season starts in May through to August. If you do think you have Honey Bees, and if they are already lodged in a chimney, roof or wall space, and have been there for some time (weeks, months or even years), then they are a well-established colony, with combs of honey and young bees. If the bees have only appeared within the last few days, or if they are clustered in the open hanging from a branch of a tree or bush, then you have a newly arrived swarm, with bees only, and probably no combs built yet. Please see the picture below of a swarm clustered.

Bee swarm
Honey Bee Swarm

While a local beekeeper will do their best to be helpful, in the situation where the swarm is in an obstructed or dangerous place, removing the bee colony successfully can be time-consuming, difficult and success cannot be assured. The removal of a free-hanging swarm in the open is usually much simpler and you are more likely to find a local beekeeper that is prepared to come and remove it for you. Do please bear in mind however that beekeepers are not a free pest control service, and in some situations you may still have to call in a pest control company to deal with a well-established colony or one difficult or dangerous to reach. 

In either case, if the bees are causing a danger to you, children or livestock, then call an independent pest control company.

Details of Local Beekeepers willing to be called to assess and try assist in Honey Bee swarm removal are below, please note this is not a guaranteed service and will dependant on availability and accessibility.  Please try each beekeeper in order of the list below, please allow a reasonable time for them to respond / reply before trying the next.

Kilbarchan & District Beekeepers Swarm Contact List






Scott Murray

Renfrewshire & North Ayrshire

01505 341856

07592 386464


Jacqualine Ferguson

East Renfrewshire & East Ayrshire

01560 485384

07857 700719


Charles Hughes





Tree Bumble bee enquiries should be directed to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (see external links on this page)