Swarm Information for the Public & Beekeepers


If you are present when a swarm arrives in your garden then quietly move away – never run or wave your arms.

Immediately take children and pets indoors or move them well away.


Do seek assistance as soon as possible after becoming aware of a swarms arrival.

Collection of the swarm is best performed as soon as possible, to prevent the possibility of the colony later moving indoors into a chimney or, cavity, as once inside it is usually very difficult to remove. If you believe that the bees are already inside the structure of your property then please read this important document:- https://www.bbka.org.uk/swarm - go to Section 3 and click the link  to download  the very important .pdf file



It is suggested that you check out the excellent national British Bee Keepers Association (B.B.K.A) web site.

 It is now easy to get help, go to :- https://www.bbka.org.uk/swarm  [Please read section on the site.]

IMPORTANTLY  you must check out the pictures of the various bees, if you find from the pictures that the bees you have are not honey bees, then, unfortunately, bee-keepers, cannot help you very much, so carefully identify your type of bee carefully and follow the advice given.

However if you identify that they are wasps or hornets as these can be very dangerous if disturbed !!!  

Do not touch them or their nest!

Contact a registered pest controller for the Chesterfield & locality,  is called Andy Davis at:-  http://www.driveoutpestcontrolservices.co.uk/ -  or, if you are in the Mansfield, Nottingham, Sth Chesterfield  & District Areas, you can contact Martyn Belcher at:- http://www.abmpestcontrol.com.

A reasonable professional fee is chargeable or, contact Derbyshire County Council who also charge for their services at:- http://www.ne-derbyshire.gov.uk/environment--planning/environmental-health/pest-control or, consult Yellow Pages.


You can either contact a local approveA swarm collector may assist with bumble bees at his own discretion. Whatever the specie, keep any child or pet well away from them .

In 2018 many swarm collectors have and were,  contacted by worried members of the public [Please Note NO Local council will remove bees]  who had 'swarms' and, on arrival it was found that the majority were bumble bees.

If your swarm does not resemble the above photograph then it is doubtful the visitors are honey bees. Bumbles can take residence in bird boxes, compost heaps and in lawns or garden flower beds - honey bees do not do this.

If however, from the pictures shown, you have decided that your problem is definitely with honey bees. Then you can either contact the our CDBKA Swarm Collection Co-ordinator, who will contact a nearby beekeeper who has registered as a Swarm Collector, or, go to https://www.bbka.org.uk/honey-bee-swarms, while on the site, you will be asked to enter your Post Code in the box provided and this will take you to a list of experienced local beekeepers who are registered as 'Swarm Collectors'. There you will find their contact details and how far they are from you.

Remember the nearest swarm collector to you may not be available so be prepared to contact another collector.

When talking to your 'selected' swarm collector, give them your full name, your address + Post Code (for use with a SatNav) and any telephone numbers - land line and mobile phones.

It will be helpful if you can give as much information as possible e.g.

1] the approximate size of the swarm a big/small cluster.

2] if possible its shape -(the illustration is a large swarm),

3] its location,

4] its height from the ground

5] the time when the swarm arrived 

6] if there is an electrical supply he can use if necessary. 

The above information will help the swarm collector decide what equipment he may need to bring with him.

We suggest that you write down his mobile phone number etc. so you can update him on anything occurring with the swarm e.g if the swarm leas and goes away to somewhere unknown.



The C.D.B.K.A. operates a voluntary swarm retrieval service throughout the area as a Public Service. However Please Note.The beekeeper collecting a swarm, acts as an individual and not on behalf of the Chesterfield & District Beekeepers Association or, the British Beekeepers Association.

You will usually be requested to sign a 'BBKA Disclaimer' this is as follows ;- 

"We the undersigned property owner/manager/tenant, ( delete not applicable)do hereby authorise the Swarm Collector named above to remove  the honeybee swarm as requested. I/We the undersigned  property owner/manager/tenant, ( delete not applicable), accept all responsibility for any damage incurred to our land and/or property as a consequence or such removal and collection.

All swarm collectors are  VOLUNTEERS. When you ring them up, as stated they may be unavailable or, otherwise busy and will not always be available to respond immediately to your call. If you wish to, leave a voicemail

Beekeepers are not insured to collect swarms, and although they love honeybees, no swarm is worth being foolish enough to risk life, limb or damage to property for!  The service provided is to remove swarms of honeybees only from accessible places.

Please note:- 

 As traveling costs are ever spiraling upwards, at the discretion of the beekeeper, a charge may be required usually up to £25.00p, this will be usually made for the service or, a similar donation to our Chesterfield Association is requested. A cheaper rate for O.A.P's etc is usually applied.

This fee is a call out fee and applies whether honeybees are collected or not.

Remember, dependent on the situation of the swarm, a professional pest controller may charge up to £100 or more for his services!


A large swarm hanging from a tree branch