How it works
read below if swarms.ie is right for you
Once ready to sign up for the service, please click on the bee image below or follow this link: Click here
THIS PAGE IS FOR BEEKEEPERS
If you are a member of the public looking for help with unexpected bees, click here.
Background & Purpose
Swarms happen but not always near a person who knows a beekeeper.
Beekeepers are hard to find, especially in an emergency. There are roughly 1 of us for every 500 people in Ireland, we are a far rarer species than even doctors!
With over 60 regional associations under two national unions, groups and unaffiliated beekeepers across the country, if you need a nearby beekeeper in a hurry, it might take more than a simple web search to solve your problem.
Not all beekeepers want swarms, sometimes when associations get swarm reports, the secretaries have to call the various members to find someone to who wants it, then if they do find someone, the day job might hold them back from being available right away.
By the time a beekeeper is found, an easy to collect swarm has likely left, or gone down a chimney.
The problem is the response time and the fractured communication network makes it slow to get help for regular Joe Public, at the same time a potential decent swarm and a future honey crop is lost for a beekeeper.
Swarms.ie aims to quickly connect the person reporting the swarm to an available and willing local beekeeper.
In order to achieve these goals, knowledge of a beekeepers area of collection, contact details and time availability are vital. This information speeds up response time, and as such, is why this information is requested when you sign up. Under GDPR legislation, the subscriber (ie the beekeeper) must be informed why their information is being requested, it is for the purpose of locating a suitable beekeeper quickly that the information is requested.
The information supplied by beekeepers to Swarms.ie is not published or searchable on the website nor are the details stored in any way on the website itself. Details are stored in an off site & used as a directory once reports are made, this way the privacy of the beekeeper’s sensitive data is maintained.
As many swarm reports turn out to be false alarms or simply the wrong insect, Swarms.ie will engage the reporter on first contact and attempt to filter reports to find the genuine honeybee calls (where possible) before offering the notification on to a local beekeeper. The closest available beekeeper will be contacted first (based on the data the beekeeper has provided) they can choose to accept or reject the offer, which will open the offer to the next nearest available beekeeper, and so on. If no subscribed beekeeper is located, an alert will be placed on the various social media groups concerning Irish beekeeping.
Not all swarms are created equal. “The higher a swarm is off the ground the less valuable it becomes”, safety of the beekeeper & of life in general must always be paramount. On analysis of the report of a swarm, if it is determined to be hazardous to the safety of the beekeeper or any other 3rd party, Swarms.ie will not pass on the swarm notification to a local beekeeper. Instead the reporter will be advised that professional services are required, or if possible, to leave the bees as they are if not causing an issue.
When Swarms.ie does pass on swarm notifications, it remains the beekeepers responsibility to conduct their own safety assessment of the situation. If the swarm appears to include danger, the attempt to collect should not be made. This is a decision you make individually per swarm event.
Remember your beekeeping insurance from your association covers 3rd party claims, but that unlikely covers you for property damage or negligence on your part. Some swarms are simply not worth the effort.
NUIG are currently running a project to test honeybees in the wild for developed Varroa resistance. Ifwhen a colony of honeybees is reported that is determined to be ‘wild’, the notification will not forward to a local beekeeper but instead will be offered to the project in NUIG. If they decline it, it may be passed on to a local beekeeper.
Swarms.ie does not want to interfere with potential natural selection of wild honeybees. If an established colony of bees is reported that appears to be wild and does not pose a human safety issue, these bees will be left to nature, no beekeeper will be notified.
Swarms.ie does not charge a fee to beekeepers to subscriberegister to the service, nor does the service charge swarm reporters for their notification. This is conditional on the understanding that beekeepers do not charge swarm reporters for the service of collecting the swarm. The quid pro quo here is that your time spent collecting the swarm results in your ownership of said swarm, and you solve a problem for the swarm reporter.
From 2020, there is now an option for subscribers to donate to the site to cover the running costs and in exchange get “First Call Priority” for local swarms. What this means, is if and when an alert comes in for a beekeeper in their area, the person(s) who have donated will get the first contact. If there is no answer from said person, or they decline the alert, I move on to the next closest person (who has donated or otherwise). There is no guarantee that a donation will equal a successful swarm collection, but I will at least notify you first if a swarm is detected in your catchment area. In the past, notifications have been limited to SMS text message, this will continue for those who have registered for free. Priority Members will receive a courtesy phone call.
Priority membership will last for the calendar year. You must be a registered as a free member BEFORE you upgrade to Priority Membership. Priority Membership can be acquired via this link: https://keepers.findyourkeeper.ie/shop/swarms/
This is not a mandatory upgrade and if no one in your area has priority membership, as before, the first person to be notified will be the closest.
Beekeepers found to be charging fees to collect swarms solicited from this service will be excluded from all future notifications. It is at Swarms.ie’s discretion to make this exclusion on a case by case basis, with the final decision remaining with the service.
This service is aimed at beekeepers who value the swarms they collect on a zero fee basis. Any costs incurred in the collection of a swarm are undertaken at the beekeepers expense.
You may unsubscribe at any time to this service as you wish
You have the right to request all information recorded by swarms.ie about you, the right to amend details and the right to be deleted. Please contact me if you wish to undertake any of these requests: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please be familiar with the terms and conditions of the service, in signing up to this service, you agree to be bound by these terms.
If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com
Terms & Conditions have last been updated on 19th April 2020