Do you have bees in your house, or another area where you don’t want them? Please read the information below first, and then use the links to find an appropriate person to remove your bees.
Step 1: Confirm that you are dealing with honey bees.
Most beekeepers will work with honey bees, but not other types of wasps and hornets. Before you call a beekeeper, confirm that you have honey bees.
The photo on the left is NOT a honey bee. The photo on the right is a honey bee – Note that she is fuzzy, and is amber / dark brown striped (not yellow and black). Not sure? Text a photo (even of a dead one), to a beekeeper to confirm. If you have a problem with yellow jackets (like on the left), you will most likely have to call an exterminator, or wait until the colony dies in winter. If your bees look like the fuzzy honey bee on the right, then you can call a beekeeper.
Step 2: Determine if you have a swarm or an established colony.
In a swarm of honey bees the bees will be out in the open – they will often be hanging from a tree or other upright object, and you can see all the bees clinging together like in the photos below. Beekeepers will want these swarms, and you should have no problem finding a beekeeper to come get them for free. To find a beekeeper willing to get them, use our swarm map. If there is no one in your area on the map, contact the bee club that is nearest to you.
If you have a swarm, provide the beekeeper with the following information:
- Confirm that they are honey bees
- Contact a beekeeper, and provide him or her with the following information
- Where is the swarm located?
- How high up are they off the ground?
- How big is the swarm?
- When did you first notice them?
- Have you called anyone else?
- If the swarm leaves, call the beekeeper back right away, and let them know.
An established colony will have honey and comb and be living and storing food in their location (compared to a swarm, which is hanging out temporarily while they look for a new home). If you have an established colony, living in your walls or in tree, you will need a “cut out” or “trap out.” This is very different from a swarm, and it is much more work to remove the colony, and most beekeepers charge for this service. If you have bees in the walls of your house, you will have to have them removed – killing the colony often results in worse problems as the unprotected nest will attract a multitude of pests. To find a beekeeper who does removals, use our cut-out map.