A national trade body is urging the public to be 'bee aware' as warmer weather hits Dorset.

As temperatures surge and flowering plants and insects emerge, bees start to make their move out of hibernation.

The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) is issuing a timely message for those who find swarms or nests in or near their home to avoid seeing them as a pest and seek expert help to ensure they are protected.

The trade association has recently launched a new special interest group, BeeWise, to champion the interests of bees within the professional pest control community.

Natalie Bungay, BPCA field officer, said: “Bees are an essential part of our eco-system.

“An estimated third of all crops are pollination-dependent, including those used in livestock feed, covering 70 different types of crop and it is vital they are protected.

“There are numerous species of bees and pollinators, but the two primary species that we are most likely to come across are honeybees and bumblebees.

“May and June are the time of year honeybee colonies begin mating, creating a new queen who will eventually take the place of her mother within the hive, leaving the old queen to swarm and move on.

“This is when they can gather – often in great numbers – near homes and in gardens."

More information about bees visit bpca.org.uk/PestAware