Emergency swarm situation

If you've arrived here in an emergency-type situation, with a swarm buzzing around near your house, then I've been there, and I know that you want to know what to do . . .

Here in the UK: if you're sure its bees and not wasps, phone the council "pest control" and ask if they can recommend a beekeeper. (They should also be able to give advice, and help identify if its bees or wasps, if you're confused, as I was.) Council pest control are, apparently, only equipped to kill things, so it's far better if you can find a beekeeper who will take the swarm. (They are listed in the phone book, which is one of those listings that you never think of looking for until you need it.)

The beekeeper may charge a small fee, which seems reasonable, and which you won't object to paying if the swarm looks like it's got no intention of moving without guidance.

It's very alarming when a vast swarm of bees settles in your garden. But it's also a memorable event. The beekeeper who collected our swarm told me I should feel privileged that these fascinating creatures had settled in my garden, and indeed I did - after I'd stopped panicking.

Summer swarm 2: the swarm in my garden

Summer swarm: 1 | 2 | 3
Borage, summer 2002. Beloved by bees, and I'm rather fond of it too.

Above: Borage, summer 2002. Beloved by bees, and I'm rather fond of it too.

Top left: this isn't the right kind of bee, and it isn't exactly a swarm, but I was too busy panicking to take a photo of the swarm, so this single bee of a non-swarming variety will have to suffice.