Bee friendly if you spot a swarm this summer

A swarm of bees in May Is worth a load of hay; A swarm of bees in June Is worth a silver spoon; A swarm of bees in July Is not worth a fly. (Olde English saying) BEE swarming is a natural phenomenon which may occur during April, May and June and it r

A swarm of bees in May

Is worth a load of hay;

A swarm of bees in June

Is worth a silver spoon;


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A swarm of bees in July

Is not worth a fly.

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(Olde English saying)

BEE swarming is a natural phenomenon which may occur during April, May and June and it results in the reproduction of a colony of bees. A colony consists of some 40,000 - 70,000 bees, mostly workers, one queen and some drones.

The swarm, made up of about half the worker bees plus the queen, leave the hive and usually settle nearby. Left in the hive are brood, nurse bees and developing queen cells or a newly emerged queen.

The swarm may settle anywhere - in a bush, tree, house wall or lamppost. It waits, a mass of thousands of bees, while scout bees hunt for a new place to inhabit.

The bees from a swarm very rarely sting anyone unless provoked or attacked. A bee dies after it has used its sting, unlike wasps that can sting repeatedly.

If you spot a swarm, contact 07925125 253 (Camden area) so that it can be collected by an experienced beekeeper.

Swarmlines for other areas are available on the BBKA swarm help page which is found on www.britishbee.org.uk.

The sooner a swarm is collected the better. Left to find its own home, it may move to somewhere unsuitable, like a chimney, which is not easily accessible.

Bees that become feral may spread disease to other colonies.

Bees are vital to the natural world and our economy. Pollination of crops relies heavily on their flying visits.

Much has been written recently about the loss of bees.

You can help by reporting swarms and making your back garden "bee friendly".

For more information, look on www. Britishbee.org.uk

JANE KEMBER

North London Beekeepers

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