The Website of the Isle of Wight Beekeeepers Association
Bees on comb surrounding queen bee Swarm of honey bees on branch Honey bee on flower

Honey Bees

Honey bees are small and vary in colour from pale brown to almost black. Most bees in this country are domesticated and live in hives. They are known for their ability to produce honey which can be collected and eaten, and the production of wax comb which has a variety of uses from candles, to polish, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

They can swarm in a large, noisy, moving cloud of many thousands of bees. Sometimes it is possible to see the moving swarm, which does not move very far from the hive, and usually settles nearby in a shape like an elongated v-shaped balloon, in a tree, a hedge, along a branch, on the side of a building, sometimes on the ground.

A moving swarm can look and sound quite frightening but they are rarely dangerous, they are loaded up with honey and looking for a new home, and unlikely to be aggressive. Once the swarm has settled, the beekeeper will collect it in a suitable container, which may stay in place attracting other flying bees, until the evening when it will be closed and taken away.

For a more detailed description see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey_bee