Help with Bees, Swarms and Hornets

If you are concerned about bees at your home, garden or place of work and need advice or urgent assistance, call the nearest of our local volunteer team of beekeepers.  It will help to identify the bees and the decision on action to take if you can take a 'photo of the insect. If physical assistance is given, there may be a small charge to cover expenses.

Honeybee (apis melifera) on a blackberry flower 

Honeybees. A cloud of swarming of bees is an awesome sight and can be frightening, but it is not generally aggressive as the bees are looking for a home.  Stay calm and watch where it settles in a cluster, like a rugby ball hanging from a branch or bush. Do not interfere with the cluster; a calm cluster is usually easy to relocate.


Heidi Herrmann checks a new swarm

A 'bombus' near its nest in the ground

Bumblebees will usually nest in 
bird boxes or in holes in the ground.  Small colonies of about 200 bees will complete the active part of their life cycle in late summer when next year’s queens prepare to hibernate.

The 'bombus' bee is rounder and more hairy than a honeybee. The bee is generally not defensive unless it or its brood is directly threatened.   

Solitary bees will lay eggs in tunnels they have created in soil, lawns or walls with soft mortar. 
Left is an'osmia' mining bee near a nest cavity in a wall. 
The active periods of solitary bees are short and timed to coincide with flowers they have evolved to pollinate.  Solitary bee stings are not strong enough to penetrate human skin.
Information on  hundreds of solitary bees in UK is at

Wasps:  wasp queens also hibernate over winter.  In spring they start to build a nest out of chewed wood and they feed developing brood on insects such as aphids and caterpillars. Later they scavenge for any food and in summer can become the pest of picnics. 


The European hornet occurs naturally in the UK and lives as part of a balanced local eco system. This native hornet is large (about 30 mm) and can be identified by its predominantly reddish brown thorax and brown legs

The Asian hornet is a non native invasive species which has recently arrived in UK from France where it has caused significant losses to honeybee colonies. This hornet has the potential to decimate our wider pollinator population. It can be identified by its black or dark brown  body with a distinctive yellow band on its abdomen; it also has yellow legs.

Report sightings of the Asian hornet to or download the Asian Hornet Watch app available on smart phones. Include location, numbers seen and a photograph if possible.

Bee Helpers

Andover /Over Wallop     John Haverson      01264 781607
Andover                        Mic Laird               01264 363242
Hurstbourne Tarrant       Mark Bunce           01264 736099

Bishopstoke                   Reader Englefield

Broughton SO20            Mark Redman        07801 569 6997 


Ringwood BH23    Bob Groves    01425 477 358 or 07837 374 820

Surrey                 Chris Crook    07847 393 182