Updated: 11th February 2021
Bee swarm removal is not something for the unequipped to try themselves, but that does not mean you have to call in a pest control company. It’s possible to have bees removed humanely and sometimes even free of charge - some beekeepers do not charge for this service.
So, before calling in some-one to remove and destroy the swarm, please read the following free information and advice - you may save the bees, remove them, and save your money too!
A bee swarm is a fascinating sight, although it may unnerve some people. A dense cloud of bees whirling into the air - even on a warm sunny day, can cause panic. However, the first point to note is that a bee swarm is NOT looking to attack you. The bees are merely looking for a new place to make a home. In doing so, a honey bee swarm may rest in a particular place whilst scout bees go off to find a suitable place to make a permanent nest.
Although the bees are NOT looking to sting you, they can become aggressive if they feel under threat. Keep your distance and you should not be bothered by the bees.
If the swarm is not in an inconvenient place and you are able to ‘sit it out’ then do so. Sometimes, you don't need to do anything. Simply leave the bees alone, and give them a wide berth. Your main job then is to relax and keep calm - if you can, enjoy the opportunity to observe nature at work - you can learn more about swarming bees on this link.
In any event, whatever you decide to do, it's best to keep children
and pets away. After a while, the swarm may move on by itself -
usually within a day or two.
However, if the bees are definitely in an inconvenient place and are causing concern, it is best to act sooner rather than later. Please take note of the guidance below.
Because they will remove the bees safely, humanely, and sometimes free of charge. On the other hand, they may have different advice.
However, do not expect the first beekeeper you make contact with, to come to your rescue. Beekeepers have lives too, and they cannot necessarily drop everything to come to your aid immediately! On the other hand, the beekeeper may not have a spare hive available, or for his/her own reasons, they may not wish to introduce another colony.
If a beekeeper agrees to help you, but the swarm moves on before they arrive, do let them know as soon as possible, hopefully to prevent them from journeying over to assist you. It’s only fair – and anyway, there may come a time in the future when you’ll need their assistance again!
An alternative route is to phone your local authority and enquire about bee swarm removal. If you are in the USA, there are some regulations in certain counties regarding Africanized honey bees. Always ask about their fees and procedures, and how long it will take for assistance to arrive.
Many local authorities will charge for bee swarm removal (even if they usually offer some free pest control services), and in the event that the bees should leave of their own accord just before a person arrives to remove them, they may charge you a call out fee!
Also, check what methods they use, and whether the bees would be harmed, and whether they use pesticides. If it's a swarm, there shouldn't be any reason for the local authority to use pesticides. However, if a colony has already established a nest (rather than a swarm) in a very inconvenient place, such as an inner wall cavity, removal may be tricky, but increasingly, pest controllers are finding ways to relocate honey bees (for example, by using a piece of equipment that enables suction), and some have contact with beekeepers. Remember to ask them first.
Just a thought….Have you ever considered becoming a beekeeper? Do you frequently see swarms of bees? If so, take a look at the resources on this site.
If you were to become a beekeeper, then in the future, you’d be able to remove the swarm and enjoy the benefits of these new arrivals yourself!
As I stated before, often the best way of dealing with a honey bee swarm, is simply to leave it alone if possible, and not panic, although if they land in a place that would cause significant inconvenience should they stay there, it may be worth calling for help and guidance at least as a precaution.
If the swarm is temporary, then for the very short time it is around, you will have a unique opportunity to observe this amazing act of nature, and you may not have this privilege again! If the bees are not causing any real problem, the most important action to take if you can, is to relax and not worry. It may also turn out to be the cheapest.
If you'd like to know more about swarming bees in general, then again, take a look at this link for further information about this wonderful phenomenon.
Learn more about this fascinating phenomenon.
Need Advice About Other Bee Species?
Help and information regarding other species of bees, including bumble bees and carpenter bees.
Bees Nest Q&A
Useful information covering commonly asked questions about bee nests of different bee species.
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