South Gloucestershire Beekeepers' Association


How to contact the South Gloucestershire Beekeeper's Association.

Branch Secretary for South Gloucestershire BeeKeepers
Sam Ellis

If we are outside your area please contact your local beekeepers association via the following links

Stroud Beekeepers Association

Newent Beekeepers Association

Cheltenham and Gloucester Association

Forest of Dean Association

North Cotswold Association

Webmaster and Publicity
Colin Swaine

Beginner's Bees
Richard Dalrymple-Smith

Training Course Enrolment
Colin Swaine

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To find us on Twitter we are @SGBeekeepers     Image result for twitter




Please read link below for swarm information and before contacting Colin Swaine

Spring 2014

“Honey – I’m just doing what comes naturally!”

Honey bee swarms are not “angry” and are unlikely to “attack”

The recent spell of warm weather has been ideal for honey bee colonies to start swarming - the natural

way honey bee colonies increase their numbers. There have been reports of swarms in the high street

and on cars from across the country. As the number of bees in a hive grows the colony runs out of space

and it’s time to split the colony and look for a new home. So they swarm.

Swarms are valuable; they need to be collected by a beekeeper and put in a new hive so that they can

thrive, producing honey and even more importantly, pollinating food crops. With the pressure on bee

numbers we can’t afford to lose swarms.

The British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) urges members of the public to learn how to spot a honey

bee swarm and to know what to do when they see one. The BBKA has a list of beekeepers willing to

collect swarms.

The public is increasingly aware of the importance of honey bees through their contribution food

production through pollination, not to mention the honey they produce. But a swarm of bees still can be

scary. The public should not be alarmed if they see or come across a swarm of honey bees. They are

doing what honey bees do naturally and are not remotely interested in humans. Contrary to some recent

press headlines they are neither angry nor likely to attack. In fact before leaving their hive the bees fill up

their stomachs with honey and are rather mellow; their sole intention is to find a new home to build-up a

new colony. As long as the swarm is not provoked it will not do any harm but it is important that the bees

are collected by an experienced beekeeper. If left to their own devices they may choose to set up home in

the nearest (in)convenient spot which could be a chimney or other inappropriate place, where they will

not thrive and may well be a nuisance.

Tim Lovett, BBKA Director of Public Affairs, gives some advice: “Honey bees swarm as nature’s way of

increasing the number of colonies. With honey bee numbers under threat we can ill afford to lose

swarms. As long as it is safe and practicable, beekeepers are keen to collect them and give them a new

home. Swarms left uncollected are unlikely to survive, which means lost honey production but even more

importantly, fewer of these hard working insects to pollinate crops, including our favourite fruits and


He continues; “however, people often mistake groups of other types of bees or wasps for honey bees. At

this time of year the BBKA receives hundreds of calls; three out of four calls are about wasps’ nests,

bumblebee sightings, or other flying insects and not honey bees which puts a huge strain on the resources

of the our small office team. The public can help by contacting a beekeeper as soon as possible on sighting

a swarm of honey bees ”

The BBKA website has pictures and information to help people to determine if what they have seen is a

swarm of honey bees or some other type of insect. Check here first:


Swarm Co-ordinator:  Colin Swaine


Tel: 01454 299509 or 07973 255683  (Please send text with name and contact number giving brief details if no reply on mobile)

NB Click on the links to send an email or if copying and pasting the links remove the words NOSPAM from the address before sending.