During the swarming season we collect swarms reported to us by members of the public, and these are available at a small cost to our beginners and members. We have a procedure for this, but in a nutshell you will need to complete this form and send it with a cheque to our Swarm Coordinator, John Moseley. All of the information you need can be found on the form.
We make a charge of £10 (which is paid into branch funds) if you are able and competent safely to collect a swarm yourself, or £20 if you would like an established swarm collector to recover the swarm for you. If you choose this option you will need to make arrangements with the swarm collector to pick up the swarm from them. If you are a beginner, you will also need to include a fee to upgrade to full membership at the time you complete the swarm request form, and of course you will need to have your hive and all other appropriate equipment ready to house and manage your new colony. Your cheque will be cashed only when a swarm is provided, and if that is not possible within the current season, the cheque will be returned to you.
Click here for the Swarm Application form - Please wait until the current year's form is published, usually in March. Do not send a form for a previous year
We usually have a waiting list for swarms, so as soon as your request form is received you will receive an email confirming receipt of your cheque, and an alphabetic character which indicates where you are in the waiting list when compared with the regularly updated “Next Recipient” character published on this page below. So for example, if the “Next Recipient” character is F and your character is G or H, then you know you may get a phone call soon. When this stage is reached, you must be as easy to contact as possible. If you cannot be contacted when a swarm is available, it will go to the next person on the list. At busy times, we sometimes have more than one swarm at a time, and several have been known to turn up in a day, so bear this in mind if your character is getting close.
IMPORTANT NOTE: COVID-19
Although BBKA have said that swarm collection can go ahead and that this decision has been seemingly made in conjunction with DEFRA, it still seems to conflict with current, very clear virus related regulations. It is unlikely that the police will be aware of any such arrangements and therefore swarm collectors will be making their own decisions before embarking on swarm recovery journeys, and on the distances they are prepared to travel to collect a swarm. This may mean that many swarms remain uncollected and fulfilling requests for swarms this year may be difficult and slow.
Swarm status = Occasional swarms
Next recipient = N