Yesterday I was walking home with some shopping along a suburban road when suddenly I was in the midst of a swarm of bees. I instinctively ran, then realising they had no interest in me I looked back to see the swarm was milling around a Birch tree in someone's front garden. Will these be Hive bees actually belonging to a Bee keeper or could they be wild bees? with all the reports on the demise of bees and noticing the pollinators in my garden have been Bumble Bees and Hover flies I was very pleased to see them after my initial shock.
It was probably someone honey bees swarming, more than one queen in the hive and she's off! Really is an awesome sight and sound isn't it!
If no Keeper "adopts" them I guess there is the worry that they cannot survive the winter without human aid? I will go back and look, if they are still there I will try an locate a local bee keeper.
The British Beekeeper Association should be able to help you find a local keeper.
I went back to the Road and found there were no bees to be seen today, hopefully a Bee Keeper has collected them.
Bees can survive without human aid Invicta. They managed fine tbefore man started farming them
Too true. They only began to decline when man interfered.
...but the modern varieties aren't necessarily the same as their wild ancestors.
They've either been collected (although a swarm of bees in July isn't worth a fly, so they say) or they'll have gone off somewhere else.
As a beekeeper I feel I can answer this. Honey bees swarm when their colony has become too large for their home, whether it be a hive or eg tree stump. The colony make queen cells from which obviously new queens are hatched. As soon as the workers seal the queen cells, the old queen takes off with approx. half of the colony to begin a new colony elsewhere. Sometimes a lucky beekeeper catches the swarm (a free colony for him/her) sometimes they take up residence elsewhere. I have to say that a swarm of bees is a truly lovely sight as they are doing what comes naturally to them. I know they look alarming but they are only interested in finding a new home.