Requesting a Swarm (2022)


If you’d like to request a swarm of bees, please read these notes on swarm availability then complete the form below. This will tell our team of volunteer collectors who wants swarms and help them make contact with you when a swarm becomes available.

We usually give priority to new members once they are ready (to turn them into beekeepers) but all Registered and Partner members (i.e. you have a BBKA card or are a member of our training course) may apply.

When you get your swarm, please pay the association’s agreed swarm fee of £20 directly to the collector, this provides both a donation to the association and it also helps to cover the collector’s out of pocket expenses. Please note that all our collectors are unpaid volunteers who give up their valuable time to provide a service to the public and bees to beekeepers.

Please be aware that:

  • a swarm may result from a cast (secondary swarm) and have a virgin queen which might take some weeks to start laying eggs;
  • the swarm may not survive
  • it might abscond
  • we cannot guarantee the quality of a swarm and
  • you acknowledge that you’re the above if you requesting a swarm.

If after receiving a swarm, you’d like another, please re-applyTo make this whole process manageable, and fair to all, we won’t accept multiple concurrent applications. Also, if you are not a current, registered member of the association, please don’t apply.

New/inexperienced beekeepers: we hope you appreciate that we have a duty of care to all swarm recipients (and their family and neighbours) and that we won’t provide swarms to anyone unless we believe them to be confident and ready to look after their new bees safely (or can call on support from a mentor or other competent beekeeper).

A lesson from the school of hard knocks: Our occasional experience has been that when members have obtained bees (from third parties) before achieving a basic level of competence (and perhaps not attended training sessions, or ignored our advice), that they’ve generated a serious (and sometimes dangerous) nuisance to neighbours/others, and significant inconvenience to the beekeepers who’ve rescued them. This is why it’s so important for beginners to attend as many of the practical training sessions as you can, to become competent and confident with the bees as quickly as possible, and we can be confident that you and others will be safe.

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