SWARM ASSISTANCE

Honey Bee Rescue/Swarms   - BEE ALERT!

 

 

A FEW WORDS ON SWARMS -
An experienced beekeeper is a lifesaver!
 

               

 

FIRST RULE  DON'T PANIC!
Bees are quite docile in a swarm and not at all prone to sting.  

Honey Bee Facts – Eco Bee Supply

 

Reporting a swarm:

Before you call: Honey bees measure about 15 mm long and are light brown in color. Honey bees are usually oval-shaped with golden-yellow colors and brown bands. Although the body color of honey bees varies between species and some honey bees have predominantly black bodies, almost all honey bees have varying dark-to-light striations.  

  • If the nest is in the ground, these are not honey bees.  They are probably yellow jackets.  We can’t help with that.  
  • 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.

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Please be able to answer the following questions when contacting us
a possible swarm swarm recovery

1. What county, city, or town is the swarm located in?

2. Have you done anything to the swarm?

3. Are these really honey bees?

4. Can you send me a picture(s), email links below. Or, see chart above to assist with identification. Please note: We are only able to assist with honey bees.

5. What are the bees located in?

6. How long have the bees been there?

7. How high off the ground are they (will a ladder be needed – is the swarm location on flat ground or a hilly area)?

8. How big is the swarm (football size, etc.)?

9. If it is needed, is it alright if we snip a branch off of the tree or bush holding the swarm?

10. Name, address and phone number of the homeowner (including work or contact information of someone on-site, over 18 years old . We cannot access your private property or remove the swarm without the owner  being on-site or landlord’s permission please, no exceptions).

11. Can we access the swarm site by vehicle?  If not, how far from a parking spot is the hive

12. Directions of how to find the location of the swarm, including where on the property.


We're always happy to help -
Seriously, 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.

How you can tell which of the removal services you need?  Here's how...

    A) You heard a loud buzzing and noticed a large cloud of bees flying overhead.

    B) They eventually landed on something (i.e.: a branch) and are now in a hanging cluster of Honey Bees.
    C) You can now see bees leaving and returning from the hanging cluster of bees and they are just generally zooming all around the area now.

    D) You've noticed that bees are flying into and out of a small hole or other opening and entering/leaving a cavity in the wall, eves, etc. of your house or other structure (the colony could even be inside anything from a 55-gallon drum to an old ShopVac left sitting outside, or in the hollow tree).

    E) Or... You've spotted a free-hanging hive (not in an enclosed cavity) complete with honeycomb and Honey Bees crawling all over the white honeycomb.

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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 2021 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
       
Ryan Owings 540-336-2309 Any Day

Winchester City, Frederick,
Clarke Counties

Henry Melius  703-298-0817 Any Day for swarms and cutouts 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
Rick Cosman 703-597-4076 Any Day Warren, Frederick, Shenandoah, Loudoun Counties
Steve Heise 301-466-8040 Any Day Warren County and southern Clarke County
       
       

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

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

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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