Following the long winter of 2017-2018 and the late spring, colonies of honeybees in Buckinghamshire are under tremendous stress.
The Mid Bucks Beekeeping association (MBBKA) have shared with us how you can help preserve our bee population, by reporting bee swarms to them.
The long winter this year has meant that some bees are dying of old age before they reproduce, which is having a dramatic knock on effect for bee population numbers.
Their important work helps our local ecosystems to flourish, as honey bees are the main pollinators.
Brian Bush, Swarm Officer from the MBBKA said: “We’ve had a tremendous response from the public to articles previously, so we want to get the information out that we can help to preserve the bee population.
“We do rely on swarms and swarm collection to boost our numbers.
“In the wild the survival chance of a honeybee swarm is about 20%.
“Collected, and housed in a hive by a beekeeper, the survival rate triples.
“We think generally for the last four or five years the number of pollinators have been rising, but honey bees are the primary pollinator and it looks as though the numbers will be down this year.”
Brian said that people may find that their crops, like raspberries, beans and oilseed rape could yield less as a result.
The MBBKA trains about 40 people each year in the art of beekeeping, and the swarms they collect often find their way to novice bee keepers, so they have a great start.
If you see a bee swarm you can call the Swarm Hotline direct on 07770 370132.