Honey Bee Swarms

  • So, you found a swarm of honey bees hanging from a tree limb!  Now What? 

     swarm44  swarm33  Swarm on Car_KK

    First, Relax !!!

    Swarming is a natural part of honey bee biology.  Bees swarm from their hives as their normal means of reproduction. They typically are very docile while swarming, but just to be safe, you should stay back at least 75 ft.  

    • PLEASE DO NOT spray them with any type of pesticide!

    • It is very important that you call a beekeeper as soon as possible!  Scout bees from a newly issued swarm are searching for a permanent place to create a new hive.  They may just decide the inside of your garage wall, or inside the eave of your home is a perfectly satisfactory place for a new hive.  Once they move from the swarm you see clinging from a tree limb into a home or other structure, they can be very difficult and costly to remove!

    • Generally, the beekeeper you contact should be able to arrive within 4 hours.  Should arrival during daylight hours by the beekeeper not be possible within about 4 hours, please inform him or her that you would like to make arrangements with another beekeeper to remove the bees, so they don’t make a trip for nothing. These beekeepers know that swarms can move quickly, and will be happy to help you find another beekeeper who can remove the bees as quickly as possible.

    • Swarms vs. Cutouts: Honey bee swarms should not be confused with established bee colonies located inside trees or inside the walls of a home or other structures.  Removal of established colonies (known as cutouts) or the nests of other stinging insects can be time consuming and result in significant charges by the beekeeper, or in some cases, exterminators, and contractors. For more information on cutouts or if you are an SCBA member who would like to be included on the Cutout List, see the page entitled “Bee Removal and Cutouts.”

    For Swarms Only! …

    • The attached list of St. Clair Beekeepers is currently being updated; if you are a member of SCBA and would like to be included on the swarm list, please email stclairbees@gmail.com. Each beekeeper’s name may be listed for up to three Illinois counties where they are willing to pick up swarms.  Some beekeepers may be willing to travel farther, but you should generally try to select one close to where the swarm is located, so they can respond quickly. These St. Clair Beekeepers may be contacted from early spring through late autumn to assist you in properly removing a honeybee swarm from your property. Click Swarm List 2021 for assistance.

      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 this contact information as a courtesy.