Swarms are usually found on objects or on vegetation. Somewhere in the lump of bees there should be a queen. A swarm will stay in place for a few minutes to 24 hours. Swarms are usually easy to remove
A cutout of bees is a swarm that has found a new home and take up residence. It could be in a wall of you home, in a hollow tree in the yard, in the soffit of you roof, or even in you attic. Anywhere there is a small hole leading to a cavity that is suitable can be called home. Cutouts are more difficult to remove and can damage your property.
What to do and not do
- PLEASE DO NOT spray them with anything.( any type of pesticide, water, gasoline, soapy water, etc.)
- 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 hive. They may just decide the inside of your garage wall, or the inside the eave of your home is a perfectly satisfactory place for a new hive. Once they move from a swarm of bees cling to 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 hour by the beekeeper not be possible, please inform him or her that you would like to make other arrangements with another beekeeper to remove the bees, so they don’t make he trip for nothing. Beekeepers know that swarms move quickly, and will be happy to help you find another beekeeper who can remove the bees quickly.
Please be prepared to answer the following questions when you contact us:
- Are you sure they are honey bees? Yellow jackets and wasps are often mistaken for honey bees. See identification guide for help in identification.
- How big is the cluster and what does it look like? Honey bees cluster as one big mass of bees as shown in the pictures above, If they are a small cluster around a knot in a tree or hole in a wall they are no longer a swarm, but an established hive which is more difficult and time consuming to remove. If the ‘ball; has a grey color or papery look the it is a wasp nest.
- Where is the swarm located? Is it hanging under a picnic table, the side of a car, on a playground , or high in a tree?
- How high off the ground is the swarm? Height requires a ladder or special equipment.
- How long have they been there? Swarms that have been there for more than a few days are probably an established hive. While many beekeepers will handle swarms, far fewer are prepared to handle established hives, especially those inside trees, houses or other structures.
- Text a picture of the clump of bees, and the street address to the beekeeper that contacts you.
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.