SWARM ASSISTANCE

Honey Bee Rescue/Swarms   - BEE ALERT!

 

A FEW WORDS ON SWARMS - AN EXPERIENCED BEEKEEPER IS A LIFESAVER!


For swarm assistance please select someone from the list below.  The list is broken down into geographic area for convenience.  It helps if you TAKE A PICTURE to be able to text/send to the beekeeper once you contact them.

UPDATED 2020 SWARM ASSISTANCE LIST

Doug Koch 540-313-5183 Any Day

Winchester City, Frederick County,
Western Clarke County

Ed Shideler 540-272-6265 Any Day Frederick County
David Reese 540-636-8669 Any Day Warren County
Kelly Hoynoski 540-660-1720 Any Day Front Royal
Ryan Owings 540-336-2309 Any Day

Winchester City, Frederick,
Clarke Counties

Henry Melius 703-298-0817 Any Day Clarke, Loudon, Warren, Frederick,
Jefferson and Berkeley Counties
Linda Cunningham 540-550-5587

Tuesday,
Thursday, Weekends

Winchester City, Frederick,
Clarke Counties

Ron Clevenger 540-532-0246 Any Day Southern Frederick County,
Warren County
Danny Smedley 540-222-4994 Any Day for
Cutouts and swarms
Warren, Clark, Fauquier,
Rappahannock counties
Donielle and
Mike Rininger
540-317-1170 Any Day Central and Northern 
Fauquier County
       
       
       

 BONS members if you want to be added to this list contact Doug Koch.

One more caution:  If the swarm is high up over 25 feet, often the best thing to do is nothing.  We love to rescue honey bee swarms and give them homes in our hives.  However, they are not worth getting injured for.  A swarm will leave where it is located, typically within 24 hours, if you do nothing at all. 

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What to do if you see a bee swarm! Watch this one minute video.

First, let’s help you figure out what you’ve got.

If the nest is in the ground, these are not honey bees.  They are probably yellow jackets.  We can’t help with that.  If they have to go, you can wait until nightfall and pour a bucket of soapy water down that hole.  That usually solves a yellow jacket problem.

If you can see a nest covering that looks like a dull gray paper, those are probably wasps.  We can’t help with that either.

But if you’re looking at a hanging blob of thousands of bees, that may be a honey bee swarm.

Don’t panic – they are quite docile in this state and not at all prone to sting.  It might look like this…

Next comes the question of where the swarm landed.  Bee swarms often land in trees.  However, they can be found about anywhere.  Below is a picture of a bee swarm on an F-18 fighter, just in case you’ve got one of them in your yard.  More seriously, the chief questions are how high and how accessible they are.  Bee swarms are prized by beekeepers, but not if we have to risk broken bones, etc.  If we can get at them, we’ll be happy to give them a new place to live, a hive!  If we can’t, they will leave on their own in a day or two.

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Catching a Swarm for experienced beekeepers

Learn how to catch a bee swarm and install it in a new hive from our friends at Brushy Mountain Bee Farm.

June 2017
From Brushy Mountain Bee Farm

Shane Gebauer, president of Brushy Mountain Bee Farm, demonstrates how to capture a bee swarm with the Hipps Swarm Retriever and install it in a super. Knowing how to catch a swarm is important both for capturing new swarms you want to add to your beekeeping operation and for recapturing bees that outgrow yoLenniur own hives before they travel too far afield. The most important part of capturing a swarm — other than wearing the proper safety equipment — is ensuring you've captured the queen and placed her within the new hive. Otherwise, the rest of the swarm will leave to find her again.

A good indication that you've successfully installed the queen is neat rows of eggs in the frames a few days to a week after you place the swarm in their new home. Once the swarm has settled in, you can start adding honey supers to the hive.

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 For more information, you might look at:

Honey bee swarms

Moving honey bee swarms with bare hands