Swarm Removal

WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A SWARM ON YOUR PROPERTY / PREMISES

  1. Do not panic. A swarm of honey bees is usually not dangerous so, while taking reasonable precautions, such as standing at a safe distance so you are not in the middle of the swarm, enjoy one of the true wonders of nature. After a few minutes a swarm in flight will usually settle on a branch, surface or even the ground and coalesce into a clump or ball.
  2. Do not spray the clump / swarm of bees with anything. No water and especially no pesticides. Remember, swarming honey bees aren’t interested in you and they are not dangerous unless you have an allergy to bee venom.
  3. Determine that you are dealing with Honey Bees and not wasps or yellow jackets. Beekeepers only remove honey bees. Therefore, before you call the beekeeper, please be sure the bees that you are concerned about are actually honey bees. If you aren’t sure, take a moment to look at the pictures down below. The pictures included below will help you determine what kind of bee you are dealing with.Bees that nest in the ground or in a grey colored paper nest located under the eaves of your home are not honey bees.
  • Take a moment to gather some information before calling a beekeeper. Listed below are some things the beekeeper will want to know. The information will help the beekeeper determine what to do to collect your swarm. It is helpful to include a photograph in the text message sent to the beekeeper but not required.
  • Where is the swarm located? Is it inside or outside?
  • How large is the swarm? Compare it to the size of a basketball, softball, is it bigger or smaller.
  • How high off the ground is it located? Can you reach it? Is it within an arm’s length? Is it higher or lower?
  • How long has the swarm been there?
  • Are the bees flying in the air or have they landed somewhere?
  • Do you have a ladder if one would be necessary to collect the swarm or does the beekeeper need to bring one?

GENERAL SWARM INFORMATION?

For information on swarms, call:

Dawna Blair – providing swarm information in the Southern Humboldt area.

Phone = 707-986-7293

Eric Christian – providing swarm information for remainder of Humboldt County.

Phone = 707-499-6739

ABOUT THE BEEKEEPERS WHO WILL COLLECT AND REMOVE THE SWARM:

The beekeepers on the swarm list below have volunteered to collect and remove swarms. It is important to understand that this list is provided as a public service and is not an endorsement by the Humboldt County Beekeepers Association of any individual on the list. The beekeepers listed below are not agents, nor are they acting as a representative, of the Humboldt County Beekeepers Association. 

IMPORTANT

Prior to engaging in the services of anyone on the list, it is recommended that you discuss your expectations of the beekeeper and the beekeeper should also explain their intentions to you. You should also discuss if there is a fee for their service.

How to use the list to find a beekeeper to service your area.

    1. From the LEGEND, located below the swarm list, find the general geographic location of the swarm to be captured and removed. The geographic areas are identified by one or two letters (Example: E = Eureka, SH = Southern Humboldt, etc.).

LEGEND – for Areas of Service

    • A: Arcata Area – including Bayside, Blue Lake
    • E: Eureka Area – Includes Cutten; Elk River, Freshwater
    • F: Fortuna Area – Includes Hydesville, Rio Dell, Scotia, Ferndale, Loleta
    • SH: Southern Humboldt
    • NH: McKinleyville and North
    • WC: Willow Creek area
    • C: will service any area of Humboldt County
  1. Next, search the “Area of Service” column on the swarm list, identifying a letter corresponding to the area of service identified in the Legend. This should coincide with the general geographic area of the swarm location.

Once the appropriate letter is found the area of service column, simply scan over to the first column on the left for the name of  beekeeper who will collect swarms in that particular area of service.

Upon choosing a beekeeper who services your geographic area, call them. If they are unavailable or do not respond, simply move to the next beekeeper servicing your area.

2021 SWARM LIST 

Beekeeper Phone No. Area of Service* Cut – outs** Removes Wasps, Hornets, Yellow Jackets
Jeannine Kaprielian 707-599-0366 A, E No No
Christine Marney 707-407-5262 SH, F No No
Eric Christian 707-499-6739 A, NH Yes Yes
Jessica Lovelady 707-407-9870 A, NH No No
Josh Harden 707-391-3762 SH Yes No
Simone Groves 650-387-9411 A, E, NH, C No No
Henry Hank Harrison 707-834-4816 A, E, NH No No
John Winzler 707-498-2558 E No No
Jarod Proffitt  707-798-7812 F No No
Heidi Rubalalcava 707-954-2771 E, F Yes No
Chris House 707-496-3524 A, NH No No
Dick LaForge 707-443-2626 A, E No No
Melissa Morris 707-498-8841 A, NH No No
Jackie and Mark Weiderman 707-407-6744 A No No
Celest Giallanz 707-223-4181 F, SH
John and Emil Carson 707-476-0178 E No No
Rachael Rigs 707-845-8842 F, SH No No
Tim Talbert 707-599-8153 F No No
Jacqueline Ruszala 707-498-7041 E, F No No
Sarah Browning 530-680-8076 F Yes No
Trevor Morris 707-834-5563 NH No No
Kenneth Gossard  Heather Gossard 707-629-3494 SH No No
Emelia Berol 707-499-4233 NH, WC No No
Dawna Blair 707-986-7293,  707-601-7733 SH No No
Melissa Krein 707-499-9749 A , E, F, NH, WC, F No No
Emelia Berol 707-499-4233 A, NH, WC No No
Forest Harpham 707-296-0346 NH No No
Julie Costello 707-496-7873 A, E, NH Yes No
Linsey Jones 707-834-5375 WC No No
Spencer Manson 808-227-1011 A, NH No No
Wade Badger 707-672-6193 A, E,  NH
Yes No
Wendy Hancock 239-776-6846 A, E, F, SH No No
John Schaefer 707-825-9533 A
No No
Julia Graham-Whitt 707-616-6954 A, E,  NH
Yes No
Pamela Alexander 619-306-3899 E Yes No
Michael Griffin 707-496-4893 A
No No
Rose Slauson 707-498-8815 A, NH
No No

*The Area of Service is the general geographic service area(s) that the beekeeper is willing to service and collect a swarm.

**AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT CUT-OUTS – PLEASE READ:

Honey bee colonies located inside walls, chimneys, attics, etc. require more skill, time and effort to remove than a typical swarm.  Removing Bees from locations and structures such as those mentioned above are termed “Cut-Outs”. Once again, you must thoroughly express your expectations to the beekeeper as well as understand the beekeeper’s intentions and expectations including their capabilities to undertake a cut-out procedure.

 

A Reminder to Beekeepers Who Will be Collecting Swarms:

It is highly recommended that you have a conversation with the property owner so that both you and the property owner understand each other’s intentions.  It is also recommended that you have a signed agreement with the property owner before undertaking the swarm removal, especially if a cut-out procedure is anticipated

When collecting a swarm on someone else’s property, please be courteous, respectful of the property owner and their property. Above all else, be safe and careful not to damage property or injure yourself or bystanders.

Although you are functioning as an independent agent and not a representative or agent of the Humboldt County Beekeepers Association we hope you have two goals in mind. One is to collect the swarm. Your other goal, perhaps the more important of the two, should be to become a good ambassador for beekeeping and other beekeepers.

When entering a property be careful and courteous and mindful of pets, other animals and livestock. Close all gates. Ask before cutting branches, trees or flowers. Take a moment to explain bees, swarms, swarming and swarm collecting to the property owner and by-standers. Allay their fears if necessary, about bees and swarms. Be as careful as you can and clean up after you are finished collecting the swarm.

 

IS IT A HONEY BEE OR SOMETHING ELSE?

Wasps vs. Bees
Honey bees are shown in the lower left corner .
Honey bees are shown in the lower right corner.

WASPS, HORNETS, and YELLOW JACKETS:

If you have a swarm of honey bees clustered outside your house or you have honey bees inside the walls of a building, see the swarm and cutout section for information.

Wasps, Hornets and Yellow Jackets are familiar insects in Humboldt County. Often times when you have been stung by a “bee”, it is a sting from one of these.  Some of them live in the ground while others live in cavities or in large grey paper nests.  Believe it or not, in general, these insects are beneficial. They prey on, and eat, other insects that are harmful to our gardens. They live in colonies similar to our Honey Bees; however, they do not over winter in colonies like our honey bees.  During the fall season, almost all of these insects die except for a single queen that will over winter and start her new colony in the spring. Therefore, if these bees are not being a nuisance problem it is often best to leave them alone.

If they are a nuisance, or you have good reasons to remove them, some beekeepers will help you eradicate their nests. Sometimes they can be moved elsewhere but usually the nest is exterminated. Check the swarm list above to see which beekeepers may be willing to help with wasps, hornets and yellow jackets. Please note that there may be a fee associated with removal.