Bee keepers have been kept extra busy as swarms of the insects look for new homes.

Swarms of honey bees, which often include thousands of worker bees and the queen, can often be seen throughout the summer.

Colleen Chamberlain, the secretary of the Braintree branch of the Essex Bee Keepers Association, said: “Bees tend to swarm once a year and when they decide to, they send out several bees to find somewhere else to live.

“Although it can be really scary, because they have filled themselves up with honey before swarming, they are less likely to sting.

“You should try to leave them be but if you are worried you should get in touch with your local bee keepers association who can give advice or collect them.”

A swarm was photographed by John Parish on the old social services building on Coggeshall Road.

They were collected by Ian Hart, from Sturmer, who Mr Parish said was “amazing.”