The great bee rescue

Late on Monday afternoon we set off on our regular walk with Ivy, but did not get far! There on the footpath was a swarm of bees, clustered on a fallen branch. We assume the branch broke due to the weight of the bees on it. Unfortunately there were also a lot of dead bees on the road. Although the bees were humming they appeared to be fairy docile, probably because night was approaching.

While I waited near the bees to warn people away from them, Mr S went home to collect a box to put the bees in, and to look for the contact details of a local beekeeper. Poor Ivy’s hopes of a walk that afternoon were dashed!

Mr S returned with a box, but had no luck finding the contact details. We suddenly remembered that a neighbour is a beekeeper, so Mr S went off to ask her if she could rescue the bees. Unfortunately she was not at home, but a family member contacted a beekeeping friend, who arrived in record time to rescue the bees.

Thrilled at attempting her first bee rescue, the young beekeeper donned her brand new kit, and very carefully transferred the branch and bees into a box. It was fascinating watching her gently collect as many of the remaining bees as she could.

Carefully lifting the swarm on the branch

Bees usually swarm in spring and summer when an old queen and her entourage of workers leave an existing hive to start a new bee colony. A new queen will remain behind in the hive with her workers. The swarm is at its most vulnerable when it leaves the hive in search of a new place to start a colony.

Placing the swarm into the box
Collecting the remaining bees

We helped her tape the box closed and load it into the boot of her car. When she arrived home she would place the swarm into a new hive. We also learned that she rescued snakes! It was such a privilege to meet such a lovely knowledgeable and enthusiastic young lady, who obviously cares deeply for the environment and creatures.


  1. Lucky bees to have you go to all the trouble to rescue them, well done. Bees need all the help they can get

    • From the number of dead bees lying on the road, we think the swarm had been there a while. It would have been such a pity if they had all been squashed by a car. We just couldn’t leave them there.

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