Honey Bee Swarms

Identification

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
wasp
Wasp

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 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
Name Area Telephone Mobile Email
Peter Stromberg Renfrewshire & Inverclyde 01505 613830 07492 875926 pstromberg1@aol.com
Duncan MacGilp Renfrewshire & Inverclyde 01505 862904 07767 380242 duncan.macgilp@virginmedia.com
Colin Garrow Renfrewshire & North Ayrshire 01505 843878 07801 132521 c.garrow@btinternet.com
Scott Murray Renfrewshire & North Ayrshire 01505 506136 07423 695352 scottnitrox@hotmail.com
Iain McLaren Renfrewshire & Inverclyde 01505 862165 N/A moragiain@btinternet.com
Graham Wayte Renfrewshire & East Renfrewshire 0141 639 2763 07895 376626 mrgw@gmail.com
Mary Pollock Renfrewshire & Inverclyde & North Ayrshire N/A 07874 284758 Mp_mps@hotmail.com
Louise Tait Renfrewshire & Inverclyde N/A 07801 791869 louise@louisetaitglass.com 
George Armstrong Renfrewshire 01505 340061 07876 087168 George.armstrong2@ntlworld.com 

 

Page last updated: 8 May 2019