Please do not call an exterminator, call a beekeeper! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form below.
Swarms are a step in the natural reproductive process of honey bees. A colony will initiate a swarm when the hive becomes too congested with new hatching bees in the spring. In Vancouver, swarming behavior typically occurs between the hours of 11am and 3pm during the months of April to June. (FYI, swarms that happen at dusk are very likely to be chafer beetle.)
A swarm will initiate from a hive and form a buzzing cloud of bees before settling in a cluster on a branch or other rigid structure. Swarm clusters will typically remain in one location for a few hours to several days before moving on to a sheltered and more permanent hive location. These clusters can range in size from a tennis ball to a large beach ball. While this behavior can appear menacing or scary, the bees are usually quite docile and will not typically engage in aggressive or defensive behavior. A swarm is not to be feared, but certainly respected by keeping a distance and not attempting to dislodge or disrupt the cluster of bees.
Our association manages a volunteer honeybee swarm retrieval service, free of charge. In addition, many municipalities have contacts for local volunteer beekeepers who provide the same service, free of charge. Beekeepers are usually happy to provide this service as it benefits the community and the beekeeper.If you find bees within a structure, for example in your attic or walls, this is usually considered a feral colony rather than a swarm. A beekeeper or pest control service that recovers bees rather than exterminates them, may charge for their removal.
A few things to note…
- determine if the swarm is honey bees or wasps
- if you can, take a picture of the swarm and send it to us at the above email address
- take note of the size of the swarm, its location and height off the ground
- how long has the swarm been there
- be ready with the location address and details about access
- let your neighbors know that you have already arranged to have the swarm removed
- Please include a phone number so that someone can call you, if needed, before coming there