What is a swarm of bees, in this case honeybees?
Honeybees swarm round about June time and a third of the bees in the colony (hive) will leave with the Queen bee so you are looking at between 15,000 to 20,000 bees. It happens when the hive gets overcrowded or workers have had enough of the old queen and have reared a new queen to replace her. So off she trots and takes her entourage with her and looks for temporary lodgings. This could be a tree, bush, edge of a house roof, lamp post etc. From here scouts are sent out to look for a more permanent abode for the swarm to go.
Although, a swarm can sound most ‘fearful’ with all their buzzing the bees are at their most docile. Prior to swarming the bees have been stuffing themselves with food, enough to last them for three days while they are looking round for a new place to live. With all that food inside them it is just how you feel after having eaten a big roast dinner.
If you spot a swarm it is best to contact your local beekeepers and let them know where it can be found. You can also contact the police as they will have a contact number for the local beekeeping club.
In the unlikely event you do get stung try and extract the sting without squeezing the end and then head to the nearest pharmacy for a dose of antihistamine cream as in the majority of cases all you will suffer is a slight bump on the skin and itchiness around the site of the sting. You will also be in the best place if you suffer any adverse reaction to the sting.
For more bee facts click HERE