Bee the Change are based in Bristol and happily collect and remove honeybee swarms – for free!
The swarms will always go to a loving and caring home, and will be treated with the respect they deserve. Often our swarms will go to occupy a hive at a forest school or community garden where many people can learn and benefit from their presence.
If you think you have a swarm of honeybees, please get in touch via our Contact Us page.
Check out our Youtube channel to see more of our videos all about bees!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How 'should' you keep bees?
This is entirely down to your own philosophies in life. We believe bees deserve to be treated with love and respect, their health is of paramount importance, and so should be nurtured rather than manipulated. Make sure you watch our videos above that show the basics of conventional beekeeping and how you can learn to understand your bees without even opening the hive.
What can I plant for bees?
Bees are losing habitat all around the world due to intensive monoculture-based farming practices, pristine green (but flowerless) suburban lawns and from the destruction of natural landscapes. In the UK, we have lost 97% of our wildflower meadows in the last 40 years due to fertiliser over-usage. Just by planting flowers in your garden, or in a planter will help provide bees with forage. Avoid chemically treating your plants as chemicals can leach into pollen and negatively affect the bees. Plant plenty of the same type of bloom together, as bees like volume of forage. It’s also really important to plant flowers which flower in the early spring, autumn and winter, as bees could be on the verge of starvation and need a vital lifeline of nectar.
Here are a few examples of good planet varieties for each season:
Crocus, Daffodils, Helbores, Borage, Bluebells, Pussy willow, Crab-apple, Hawthorn.
Lavender, Thyme, Rosemary, Chives, Wildflowers.
Snowdrops, Mahonia, Hellebores, Ivy, Winter jasmine, Winter flowering honeysuckle, Sweet box, Winter clematis, Cyclamen, Primroses.
How can I help bees?
Weeds can be a good thing!
Contrary to what we’re made to think, a lawn full of clover and dandelions is actually good! It’s a haven for honeybees and all other native pollinators too such as solitary bees and bumbles. Wildflowers, many of which we might classify as weeds, are some of the most important food sources for bees. If some of these are “weeds” you chose to get rid of (say you want to pull out that bramble bush that’s taking over), let it bloom first for the bees, or just trim it back.
Don’t use pesticides to treat your lawn or garden!
The chemicals and pest treatments you might put on your garden can cause damange to the honeybees systems. These treatments are especially damaging if applied while the flowers are in bloom as they will get into the pollen and nectar and be taken back to the bee hive where they also get into the honey—which in turn means they can get into us.
Buy local, organic food from a producer that you know!
Buying local means eating seasonally, and buying locally from a producer that you know which means you can be sure if that food is coming from a monoculture or not. This is much easier in the summer when you can get your food from a local farmer’s market. Another option is to get your food from a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Farm. Even better, is to grow it yourself, and teach others too!
Buy local, raw, treatment-free honey!
The honey you buy directly sends a message to beekeepers about how they should keep their bees. For this reason, and for your own personal health, strive to buy local, raw honey that is from hives that are not treated with chemicals. It can be hard to find out what is truly “local” and truly “raw”–and even harder yet to find any that is untreated.
Here’s a few guidelines:
If you find it in the supermarket and it’s imported from China, don’t buy it.
If it’s coming from the supermarket, but it doesn’t say the words “pure” or “raw” and you can’t read it in the description that it’s untreated by chemicals, don’t buy it.
There are beekeepers at nearly every farmer’s market selling their honey and other products. Have a conversation with them, find out what they are doing to their hives, and how they are keeping their bees. If they are thoughtful, respectful beekeepers who keep their bees in a sustainable, natural way, then make a new friend and support them!
Make the government know how you feel!
If you disagree with the extent or use of pesticides in the UK, or general farming procedures – let your MPs, and the government know!
Can I put a beehive in a school?
Yes, it is very possible, and is a wonderful way to get the kids outdoors, and connecting to nature. Getting the OK is really down to the head teacher we’ve found; they like to know its safe. So what we often do is section off an area either with a locked gate, or create a bee area a little away with a small fence even to act as a visual barrier. A ‘Bees, please be careful’ sign can be a good idea. It’s important to have an epi pen and junior epi pen at the school just incase of anaphylaxis.
If you could like any help from us, please do get in touch via our Contact Us page.
What hive is best for bees?
A few examples of hives we recommend include a Freedom Hive (1) a Top-Bar (2) a WBC (3) a Bee House (4) a Warre (5), a Log Hive (6), a Sunhive (7) and a Skep (8). Some hives come with observation windows, which is great to see inside the beehive, without disturbing the bees. The Top-Bar we recommend comes with such a window, and warres also tend to. We recommend these hives below as they are good warm environments for bees to live healthily in. Please look into all these hives well before making a decision, and we are happy to give advice.
If you have any further questions about beekeeping or what you can do to help bees, don't hesitate to get in touch through our Contact Us page.