Get Free Help with a Honey Bee Swarm in the Bay Area

Get Free Help with a Honey Bee Swarm

To report a honey bee swarm, call

(510) 898-6696

One of our volunteers will take your information and arrange for quick, safe, free relocation. 

ACBA honey bee swarm removal services cover most of Alameda county and some of West Contra Costa County in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, including Alameda, Albany, Ashland, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Crockett, Dublin, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Emeryville, Fairview, Fremont, Hayward, Hercules, Livermore, Newark, Oakland, Piedmont, Pinole, Pleasanton, Richmond, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, San Pablo, San Ramon, Sunol, and Union City. (For help outside of this area, see Swarm Resources in Neighboring Counties.)

What to expect: A beekeeper will arrive with equipment to encourage most of the bee swarm to move into a box. Over the next few hours, the rest of the honey bee swarm will join their sisters in the box. At dusk, the beekeeper will return to remove the box, now filled with the swarm, and take it to a safe location where it can thrive. We never use pesticides or try to exterminate the bees.

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What to do while you wait: Stay calm. The honey bees will remain together in a clump, except for a few scouts. There is little danger of being stung, but keep others from approaching. If the bee swarm is in a public place, if you can, cordon off the area and post a sign saying that a beekeeper is on the way.

The honey bee swarm removal service is free, but we encourage donations to help our work. Click here if you’d like to make a donation to the swarm removal service — a great way to help save the bees!

Please note that swarm services are for honey bee removal only. The ACBA cannot provide help with wasps or yellowjackets. See our page for help Identifying Honeybees and Wasps.

Colony Extractions

If a honey bee colony is established inside a house, for example, living in the chimney or an attic, it’s no longer a swarm. The bees can still be safely removed. But the extraction process is more complicated. The ACBA has beekeepers experienced in doing such extractions; you can call the same phone number to get a referral. There will be a fee, to be negotiated with the individual beekeeper.

Swarm Collecting Legalities

We only collect swarms that appear to be on public land, or in cases where we believe we have been given permission by the property owner. If you see a swarm on private property and you’re not the owner, try to get the owner to call us.

Also, note that we can’t return swarms we collect. (Legally speaking, swarming bees that are not “continuously within eyesight” of the original owner are wild animals, and become the property of the collector.)

Swarm Resources in Neighboring Counties

Here is a list of other organizations around the Bay Area that have swarm capture and extraction services:

Alameda:Alameda County Beekeeper Association
Contra Costa:Mount Diablo Beekeepers Association
Marin:Marin County Beekeepers
Monterey:Monterey Bay Beekeepers (ABC)
Napa:Beekeepers of Napa Valley
San Francisco:San Francisco Beekeepers Association
San Mateo:Beekeepers’ Guild of San Mateo County
Santa Clara:Santa Clara Valley Beekeepers Guild
So. Santa Clara:The Gilroy Beekeepers Association
Santa Cruz:Santa Cruz Beekeepers Guild
Sonoma:Sonoma County Beekeepers Association