Bee Removal & Cutouts

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Swarm or Cutout?

You’ve found a group of honey bees coming and going through a crack or hole in a tree or under a window or eave of your house or other out building.  Now what? 

  • First, make sure they are honey bees and not another flying insect, such as yellow jackets.
  • PLEASE DO NOT spray them with any type of pesticide. This usually makes the problem worse.

  • Honey bees which have taken up residence inside a tree or the wall of a structure can be very difficult to remove.  Secure help from the pros.

  • Honeybees are beneficial insects, and should be safely “cutout” whenever possible,  usually by a beekeeper experienced in these live removals.  There are times, however, when they cannot be reasonably saved, and an exterminator must be brought in to assist.

  • The main difference between a swarm and a cutout is that unlike a swarm of bees which is looking for a new place to build their hive, a cutout has already permanently established itself and is going to actively defend their hive and resist being removed.

  •  You, the property owner, should take your time and make an informed decision on who to select for this removal, and understand exactly what services are being provided. In many cases, the beekeeper will only remove the bees and honeycomb, and a contractor may be needed to repair any structural damage. Advice and estimates from both the beekeeper and your contractor prior to beginning the cutout process may be advisable to make sure you and everyone involved understands what their respective roles are in order to obtain the best result.

Honeybee swarms should not be confused with established colonies located inside trees or inside the walls of a home or other structures.  Removal of established bee colonies, called cutouts, or the nests of other stinging insects may be time consuming, and result in significant charges by the beekeeper, a contractor, and in some cases, exterminators. Click Cutout List 2020 to find a beekeeper who may be able to assist you in the removal of cutouts. 

If you are an SCBA member who would like to be added to the 2020 Cutout List please email your contact information to

Important Disclaimer:  All swarm collection or cutout arrangements are strictly between the caller and the beekeeper. The St. Clair Beekeepers Association is not part of any arrangements between the caller and beekeeper and merely provides the contact information as a courtesy.