If you have sighted a swarm of honey bees, or have bees in your house or other structure, please read the following information before calling a beekeeper on the list:
- PLEASE DO NOT SPRAY THE BEES WITH ANYTHING. Especially insecticides, but do not even spray them with water. This is endangering the bees, yourself and the beekeeper.
- Ensure you are dealing with honey bees and not another beneficial insect (please see our photo gallery below).
- Please do not ask a beekeeper to take care of a yellow jacket problem - unless specifically licensed for pest control, a beekeeper cannot legally address pest issues. Please contact a licensed pest control operation for that.
- Note the address (preferably with a nearby cross street).
- Note the location of the bees. Are they in a tree, on a fence or structure; how far off of the ground? Are there any hazards the beekeeper should be aware of (near a utility line, above a thorny plant, soft soil, steep incline, etc)
- How large is the cluster of bees, “softball”, “grapefruit”, “basketball” sizes can be referenced. A very small cluster of bees may be stragglers from a passed swarm.
- How long have the bees been there? The amount of time a swarm has been landed greatly affects the ability of a beekeeper to catch the swarm before they move on, but also affects how aggressive the bees might become - a swarm which has been lingering for a day will be getting restless.
- If they’re not on your property, and in a neighbor’s yard, please provide contact details for that neighbor - we can’t enter someone elses property without permission. The property owner or tenant should call a beekeeper.
- If you’re greeted by an answering machine when calling a beekeeper, call another. If you choose to leave a message, please be sure to leave contact information.
- If the swarm is in a yard, please provide access information (how close can a vehicle be brought, how steep is the terrain?).
- If the swarm is high off the ground, if you have access to a reliable ladder which can be used by the beekeeper, please make the beekeeper aware of this.
- If you have digital photos of the swarm or structurally inhabiting colony (and the surrounding area), please advise the beekeeper of this. While honey bee swarms are generally docile, you should avoid putting yourself at potential risk to take photographs or get a closer look at the bees beyond basic identification.
- Not all beekeepers perform structural extractions - if the bees are inside a wall or attic, this is not a “swarm”, but rather an established colony of bees. In this case, you need to contact a beekeeper who indicates that they handle structural extractions.
- Some beekeepers provide the swarm capturing service for free, others charge a nominal fee - be clear on the cost of the job before engaging someone’s services.