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Swarm Removal

Nice swarm of bees

If you have an unwanted swarm of bees on your property, please call one of our local beekeepers.  We can inspect the swarm and remove it safely to a hive where the bees will have a chance to flourish.

Please note: If the beekeeper is not immediately available, leave a message and they will call you back as soon as possible. Please try to work with only one beekeeper at a time, but if you call more than one, let them know that you’ve contacted other beekeepers as well, and who you’ve contacted. It helps prevent long drives to a swarm that has already been caught.

Albert (Santa Cruz) 831.466.0142
Jeff** (Santa Cruz and beyond)831.713.7773
James** (all of Santa Cruz County)415.613.6975
Bodo (Davenport to Half Moon Bay)Mob: 650.248.683
Home: 831.425.3623
(Watsonville, La Selva Beach, North Monterey County)
(All of Santa Cruz County and further
north towards San Jose)
Mob: 908.752.8284
Home: 831.425.4626
Amanda (Santa Cruz)831.566.0601
Ashley (Watsonville, Corralitos, Moss Landing, Aromas, Prunedale)209.740.2585
Abraham (Capitola/Live Oak)831.252.5184

** also extracts bees from walls and other structures

When you call a beekeeper to collect a swarm, please have the following information available:

  • Where are they? – e.g. Up in a tree (how high), in a bush, on a fence, in the eaves of a house?
  • How many are there? How big is the cluster? Common descriptions are “size of a basketball, volleyball, trash can”, etc.
  • How long have they been there?
  • Are there still lots of bees in the air?
  • Are they honeybees? (Many calls are actually for paper wasps or yellow jackets. The beekeeper should be able to help you determine this.)
  • Is it in a public place?
A small swarm on a fence post.

Removing a swarm of bees from a tree or the outside of a building is relatively simple.  However, if bees have taken up residence inside a wall or roof, the extraction procedure becomes much more complex and usually involves cutting into the wall to remove bees and comb.  This may require re-construction after the extraction is complete. A beekeeper working on an extraction will also sometimes need to make multiple visits to the property to ensure that all bees have been captured.

Many beekeepers will capture a swarm for free, however, that should be discussed with the beekeeper beforehand. Extraction of a colony from walls or other space usually involves a fee, as it takes much more effort and time on the part of the beekeeper. Discuss this fee with your beekeeper before you engage him/her, and also discuss whether that fee includes reconstruction.

For extractions and removals in neighboring areas, please refer to these nearby organizations: