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Q: HELP! There’s a swarm in my garden! What do I do? 

A: Don’t panic. Telephone 07561 147193 and speak to our duty Swarm co-ordinator. They will let you know how quickly we can help you – and what to do until we get to you.

Q: Can I get a swarm? 

A: Yes. SWHB keep a list of beekeepers who need a swarm. We supply on a first come first served basis – and of course, timing depends on how many swarms our collectors are asked to collect. If you wish to be added to our swarm list, please get in touch via our Contact us form. Please note that there may be a small charge for a swarm to cover equipment costs etc.

Q: I want to start beekeeping. Where do I start?

A: There are numerous websites out there which will give you information about beekeeping and how to get started. Check out the links section of this site. However, beekeeping is a hands-on thing and getting help from an experienced beekeeper will be a lot less stressful. We therefore suggest you enrol on our Beginners Beekeeping Course. If you’d like to join this year’s course (unfortunately places are limited so you may need to be added to the waiting list for our next course), please get in touch via the Contact us form. This will not commit you – but we will contact you with details of the next available course.

Q: Can I come along and see what beekeeping involves? 

A: Yes. The best way is to come to one of a Taster Days. For details check the relevant page in our Training section. You could also come to one of our monthly member meetings, as a guest. Please get in touch via our Contact us form so we can advise you of the next meeting.

Q: Are there different types of honey bee?

A: Yes. These include:

  • Apis mellifera carnica – the carnelian bee, found from the Alps in Austria to Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia.
  • Apis mellifera caucasica – the Caucacian bee, found in the mountainous area between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, from Russia down to Azerbaijan.
  • Apis Mellifera ligustica – the Italian bee, originating in that country but since moved all around the world.
  • Apis mellifera mellifera – the dark European honey bee of Northern Europe and Western Russia.

The last is the native honey bee of the British Isles, although it has been highly hybridised with imports of Apis Mellifera ligustica and Apis mellifera carnica.Each subspecies demonstrates different characteristics that have developed in order to survive in its original area.

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