Are Bees a Protected Species in the UK?
In the UK as at the time of writing the simple answer is 'No'. But they are so vital to our biodiversity and ultimately to our ability to produce food that many believe that they should be offered some form of protection.
'Protected Species' are as designated by the Wildlife and Countryside Act (WCA) 1981 and in the case of insects by Schedule 5 of the Act. Neither honey bees, bumble bees or any other species of bee is included in the schedule.
Section 74 of the Countryside and Rights of Way (CRoW ) Act 2000 and Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act (2004) list a number of bees that are deemed of importance for the conservation of biodiversity and place certain conservation obligations on public bodies although this does not afford the bees themselves protection.
Cases involving prosecution of persons found to have killed bee nests have invariably been related to the misuse of poisons or health and safety. For an example see fined for killing bees and for more information relating to pest control and bees see pest controllers and bees.
If you have bees in your garden you are very fortunate. Bees are wonderful pollinators and important to the natural cycle that puts food on our tables. To find out more see why bees are important to us.
If you have a swarm of bees then you have honey bees.
So if you have a bee swarm what should you do?
Contact a bee swarm collector, see here for contact numbers. Some local collectors will collect your honey bee swarm free of charge and do so to help maintain the sadly depleted stocks of feral honey bees.
If you live in Gravesham or it's surrounding area*
(*Gravesend, Cobham, Higham, Luddesdown, Meopham, Shorne, Vigo, Culverstone Green, Northfleet, Chalk, Gadshill, Meopham Green, Sole Street, Thong, New Barn, Longfield, New Ash Green, Hartley, Dartford, Wrotham, North Kent, Istead Rise, Southfleet, Betsham, Hodsoll Street, Harvel)
Copyright © 2007-2014 F B Medhurst all rights reserved
Gravesham Borough Council (GBC) - Environmental Control :
Tel 01474 56 44 22
GBC maintains a list of beekeepers willing to collect bee swarms in Gravesham. Alternatively use the on-line facility below.
If you live outside the Gravesham area :
Use Your Postcode To Find A Swarm Collector:
This online map based facility allows you to enter your postcode and then shows which swarm collectors are close to you along with their contact details. http://www.bees.co.uk/swarmmap
Kent Bee Keepers Association (KBKA):http://www.kentbee.com/kbka/info/swarms/
The KBKA maintains a list of swarm collectors throughout Kent. Collectors may require refunding of their travel costs or a contribution to association funds.