Wild Honeybee
Colony Survey

Background to the survey

The Cambridgeshire honeybee population consists of those located in managed hives and others that exist in situations that the bees have discovered for themselves. These wild honeybees are probably descended from swarms from managed colonies which have escaped despite the best intentions of fellow beekeepers. We have no idea of the quantity and condition of these feral honeybee colonies and so are looking to locate as many of as possible. Although there have been similar studies, we do not believe that there has been one attempted on this scale and certainly not in Cambridgeshire.

Once we have built a map of the wild honeybee colonies, we would like to track them over the long term with the help of our members. We will be looking to log: ideally when the swarm arrives, or is pre-existing at the start of the project, how long it survives, and even if the feral colony itself swarms.

As a Reporter you are asked to provide the information required, scheduled below, and an email to us at using the link shown below.

Members of the public are welcome to assist in the survey.  To encourage this a poster is available for downloading and printing.  This can printed and cut into two for placing on appropriate notice boards and village shops etc.

How to email us a report of discovered wild honeybee colonies.

Please click on the email link below and include the following details with your report.

1. Colony location – in any of the formats below

2. The following key dates for the survey

a. Date of compiling this report.
b. The reason for the report e.g.:
  • A swarm seen arriving.
  • An active colony found for the first time.
  • Existing wild colony, previously reported, and still flying.
  • A colony apparently dead. No flying seen.

3. A picture of the colony.

* Please take care to only attempt taking pictures with your safety in mind.  Some colonies can be defensive if approached at any distance.

4. Additional contact details for you

We would be grateful if you would add your name, address and postcode to the above information when you send your email.

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