Renfrewshire Council

How to identify and deal with a Honey Bee swarm

First, check if what you have are bees or wasps. This may sound rather obvious, but it is an easy mistake to make.

Wasps and honey bees are about the same size, but wasps have alternating black and bright yellow body stripes. Honey bees are brown, with paler brown or dirty yellow bands on the body. Bumblebees are furry. 

Please refer to the Scottish Beekeepers Association Website and their The Wild Bees of Scotland Identification Guide. If you have wasps or bumblebees, then please refer to the SBA main Frequently Asked Questions page.

If you do think you have Honey Bees, and if they are already lodged in a chimney, roof or wall space, and have been there for some time (weeks, months or even years), then they are a well established colony, with combs of honey and young bees. If the bees have only appeared within the last few days, or if they are clustered in the open hanging from a branch of a tree or bush, then you have a newly arrived swarm, with bees only, and probably no combs built yet.

Swarm cluster

Honey Bee Swarm

While a local beekeeper will do their best to be helpful, there are situations - particularly when bees are lodged happily in a chimney or wall space - when removing the bee colony successfully can be time-consuming, difficult and success cannot be assured. The removal of a free-hanging swarm in the open is usually much simpler however, and you are more likely to find a local beekeeper who is prepared to come and remove it for you. Do please bear in mind however that beekeepers are not a free pest control service, and in some situations you may still have to call in a pest control company to deal with a well-established colony or one difficult or dangerous to reach. In either case, if the bees are causing a danger to you, children or livestock, then call an independent pest control company.

Details of Local Beekeepers willing to be called to assess and try assist in swarm removal are below, please note this is not a guaranteed service and will dependant on availability and accessibility. Please try each beekeeper in order of the list below, please allow a reasonable time for them to respond / reply before trying the next.

NOTE: Beekeepers will only deal with honey bee swarms, not all bees.  Tree Bumble bee referrals should be directed to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust via Identify a bumblebee - Bumblebee Conservation Trust

Kilbarchan & District Beekeepers swarm contact list

Scott MurrayRenfrewshire & North Ayrshire01505 34185607423
Mary PollockRenfrewshire & Inverclyde & North AyrshireN/A07874
Louise TaitRenfrewshire & InverclydeN/A07801 
Charles HughesRenfrewshireN/
Jacqualine FergusonEast Renfrewshire & Ayrshire01560 48538407857
Gordon McFallPaisley and RenfrewN/A07954544434Gordon.mcfall@Gmail .com
Joe McLaughlinPaisley and RenfrewN/
WaspHoney Bees
Wasp Honey Bee
Masonry BeesBumble Bees
Masonry Bee Bumble Bee

For further information please refer to the Scottish Beekeepers Association (SBA) website and their The Wild Bees of Scotland Identification Guide. If you have wasps or bumblebees, then please refer to the SBA main Frequently Asked Questions page.