Beekeepers are often approached about honeybees, bumblebees and wasps, especially in the spring and summer months. As someone who has been called out many times an ideal callout is to a swarm about the size of a rugby ball hanging from a branch about 2 metres of the ground – but it does not always happen that way.
I have been called out to swarms that have about 10 bees – that is not a swarm. A swarm will be over 1000 bees and can be as many as 20,000 bees. They may not all be flying but may have grouped in a tree or on a wall – or anywhere else that is convenient.
I have been called out to wasps. No they are not bees and I don’t have the tools to deal with them.
I have been called out to bumble bees. No they are not honey bees and I don’t have the techniques to deal with them.
But if you are not sure then give one of a ring and we will be happy to advise. I would rather have a call out to a cluster of wasps rather than miss a swarm of honey bees.
The BBKA page has information on identifying honey bees.
Dorchester and Weymouth Beekeepers have volunteers that make themselves available during the swarming season to give help and advise and if appropriate will take the swarm away for you.