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WATCH: Why are swarms of bees appearing all over Suffolk?

PUBLISHED: 17:04 23 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:04 23 May 2020

A swarm of bees descended on a street corner in Needham Market, prompting residents to seek shelter. Picture: RICHARD GERRELL

A swarm of bees descended on a street corner in Needham Market, prompting residents to seek shelter. Picture: RICHARD GERRELL

Archant

Thousands of bees were spotted in Needham Market and other parts of Suffolk this week as they sought out new hives for summer.

Look out for the bees  Picture: MARIAN STEPHENSLook out for the bees Picture: MARIAN STEPHENS

Swarms of bees are moving across Suffolk as they look for new hives for the summer.

With spring fast giving way to summer, and temperatures rising, colonies of bees are likely to start looking for new hives.

A video captured earlier this week by Richard Gerrell shows hundreds of the insects settling near to a bush by a house in Alexander Drive, Needham Market.

The video of the cloud of bees moving through the air prompted others in the county to share their swarm sightings.

Martin Fiddy, of Beccles, spotted thousands of the bugs above his garden.

And Andrew Keeble spotted a swarm taking up residence around his roof tiles and guttering in Saxmundham.

The Suffolk Beekeepers’ Associations can come and collect these swarms if a member of the public is concerned about bees moving into their loft space.

Helen Davies, County Secretary for the associations, said: “We get a lot of calls about swarms this time of the year, there are usually two weeks in May when we get the most calls.

“This year is busier than last year. It is noticeable that there have been a lot more calls about swarms in the west of the county, around Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket and Newmarket area, than there have been in the east of the county – the same thing happened last year.”

Mrs Davies explained what causes bees to swarm at this time of year.

“Bees are building up their colony at this time of year, raising young, looking for food for the larvae and for winter stores,” she said.

“A swarm can occur if the hive gets too crowded, then the queen can leave the hive along with around half the bees to look for another home. The bees left behind will raise a new queen.

“This often happens in May because there is more nectar available for the bees to feed on and therefore a greater chance of survival for a new colony who will have to work hard to build up the new hive and hence need plenty to eat.”

Mrs Davies explained the bees are not as threatening as they may appear.

“Just before bees swarm they eat as much as possible to help them survive the search for a new home,” she said.

“Initially a swarm is quite docile but once their stomachs are empty they may be less so.

“The sight of a swarm is impressive, but the bees are more interested in finding a new hive than stinging anyone.

“If you see a swarm, you can use the British Beekeepers Association website to find the nearest beekeeper to help or call us and let us know where the swarm is”, added Mrs Davies.

“Hopefully the swarm is somewhere easy for us to reach. We can collect it and rehome the bees.

“Beekeepers are frequently willing to take a swarm especially if they have lost a colony over winter or if a hive of theirs has been stolen.”

It has been reported this week that Suffolk’s Ed Sheeran has installed a beehive on his estate near Framlingham.

A source told The Sun: “Ed’s placed a wooden beehive at the edge of his estate.

“He’s already got other produce growing and some animals so he’s clearly enjoying the idea of that lifestyle.”

• If you need a swarm of bees collected, you can call 01473 742862.


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