What to do if someone reports a swarm of bees




Honey bees will swarm anytime from mid April until the end of July. It is their natural means of increasing numbers. The queen from a local colony will fly off with half the workers leaving a new queen cell behind. The swarm will cluster nearby while scout bees hunt for a new home.

Someone contacts you….

Ask the informant for details of the location, accessibility, their name and contact number. Tell them that the bees think they are on holiday and are generally not aggressive but it is probably best to stay back and not provoke them until someone comes to collect the swarm.

…you contact the beekeeping fraternity

Inform the Isle of Man Bee Keepers Federation using the contact list below. From the area of the informant, call the first number and hopefully they will answer. If not please call the next number and so on until someone in that area responds. Then turn to the next adjacent area if there is still no answer and failing that, call the Island Coordinator.

The scout bees will be hunting hard so time is of the essence; these phone calls should be carried out as quickly as is practically possible otherwise we might find the bees have set up home in a chimney pot or a cellar which will cause worse problems later on.

The local area swarm contact will have a list of people wanting to collect swarms. As it is illegal to import bees to the Island, these swarms are valuable additions to their individual apiaries. A collector will be found and will be directed to pick up the swarm. Since time immemorial, the collector gets to keep the swarm and no fee is charged.

If you have any questions about this procedure, please call the Island Coordinator. Note also that the local beekeepers cannot deal with wasps or hornets nests or any other flying creature which is causing concern to the public.


Ramsey &
the North

Island Coordinator Roger Putman263498
Maggie Hughes 427023Jon Burgess 475876
Steve Bassil 468714Jimmy Fisher 477315
Robert Kneale 415900David Roberts 331157
Richard Smith 480213
Roger Phillips 335116
Peel &
the West
The South
Harry Owens 494246Gwen Kelly 459197
Robert Wright 301362Johnny Kipps 499511
Mike Horne 482982Roger Putman 263498
Andy Scarlett 426509

Relevant resources

BBKA – Collecting a Swarm