A bee swarm became a beehive in ceiling - Woodgate

Bee Swarms

Spring has Sprung, and bees are swarming, which is natural reproduction. Colonies create a new queen. Usually, the old queen leaves with 50 - 70% of the population to find a new home which can often be in the walls/roof as it is sheltered or on a tree bench. This is called a bee swarm and is not something to be alarmed about. This usually happens for two reasons.

One is when the hive has a young queen, and she has left the hive to mate before returning to the hive and settling into laying eggs. The queen might leave and return a couple of times if she thinks she has not mated enough because once she starts laying, she will not stop until finished.

The second is when the bees in the hive have outgrown the hive. They then make a new queen, the hive splits with some staying with the new queen and going about their business while the rest collect stores and fly out of the hive, with the old queen, in search of a new home.

Bee swarms are typically 5000 to 40000 bees and are usually docile (this is because they are carrying as much as they can from the hive), so you can just leave them alone until a beekeeper comes and removes them for you.

Small bee swarm in a tree

Who to call

So you have a bee swarm. What now? Who should you call? Well, no matter where you are, chances are there is a local apiarist closeby, and most will be willing to help you remove the bee swarm. It is important to know that in certain situations the killing of bees is allowed by pest control. We at Goodwood Produce, along with a lot of other Australians, love bees and do not want any harm to come to them. So, we try hard to safeguard the bees’ wellbeing when removing a bee swarm.

Cost to you

The cost to you is a hotly contested talking point with many apiarists wanting to charge you for the service, a service that could cost you hundreds of dollars. However, there are many others like Goodwood Produce that will collect the bee swarm and relocate it to their hive-site (this is their payment per se) at no cost to you. That being said, sometimes there may be a hidden cost but not from the beekeeper e.g. We were called to a home in Woodgate where bees had settled inside the ceiling. Being bee lovers themselves, the owners did not want to kill the bees but they still needed them to move on. With the help of their builder, we removed part of the ceiling, collected the bees and relocated them to our quarantine site before bringing them to their happy new home at Goodwood. Of course a cost was incurred from the builder for removing and then restoring the ceiling after the bees were removed.

540x440 bee on flower

What happens to the bees

Our process at Goodwood Produce is that once we collect the bee swarm, we place it into a hive box. This will be either a 4-frame or 10-frame box, depending on the size of the bee swarm. Then we transport the bee swarm to a location where it is not within 5km of known hive locations of other bees. This is to quarantine them so if they were to have a disease, they would not infect our happy and healthy bees. We will then monitor and inspect the hive over the next three months, checking for any disease. Once the hive has been given a clean bill of health, we move it to our hive-site at Goodwood, where they will live out their days collecting pollen and nectar to make raw honey that we will then collect for you to enjoy.

Bee on purple flower540x440

Why are there still some bees around

After the bees have been collected, you may notice that there are some bees still flying around. This is because no matter how much care and effort is taken, we can not collect every single bee, as there will be bees out looking for a place for the hive to permanently settle down or they simply elude the collection process. This is ok and normal, and as long as the queen is collected, the missed bees will leave over the next couple of days. On the off chance that the queen was left behind, the apiarist will come back and try again.


So if you need a bee swarm removed please contact your local apiarist as this will not only save the bees but help out your local beekeeper . If you live in the Bundaberg region and need a bee swarm removed then please don’t hesitate in calling us at Goodwood Produce for help; even if we could not get there to remove the swarm we will know someone that would be able to help you.

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