Advice on Honeybee Swarm collections during the Coronavirus pandemic

   At the moment HBKA members are allowed to tend bees and collect swarms. But, this situation may change and we will be keeping it under review during the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.  LATEST: Updated beekeeping guidance was published by the National Bee Unit on 26th March, which confirms that beekeeping should continue; bees are classified as livestock and must be tended.    
   Honeybee swarms happened during early spring to late summer, normally April until July. It is a natural process that honeybees undertake to create new colonies. 
During the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak beekeepers, like everyone else are required to minimise public contact and observe the 2 metre social distance rule.  Protecting ourselves and others. 
   Unfortunately, the number of available HBKA Swarm Collectors has reduced because of self-isolation etc. If you are concerned about what you think is a honeybee swarm, take the following steps: -      1) Web Search for BBKA Swarm Collector list this details local Swarm Collector contact details.   2) After the initial telephone consultation and receipt of photos of the swarm by email or WhatsApp, appropriate advice will be given.  3) A risk assessment will be carried out before a member of the Swarm team attends. 
   We will not be taking unnecessary risks as local Health services will be under enough pressure dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. 
Although swarms of bees look frightening to some people, most swarms move off after a few hours/ days, as they move to find a more permanent home. Generally, when left to their own devices swarming bees are focussed on finding a new home and not on people. The general public’s best course of action for swarming honey bees is to leave them alone. In more normal circumstances we would offer help were we can, but during the Pandemic the situation has changed.   
Please bear with us at this time. Thank you. 
   Harrow Beekeepers’ Association Swarm Team.

Saturday, 28 March, 2020 - 17:45