Report a Swarm

The best way to report a swarm is to use the e-mail address below which will go to a group of beekeepers in the Austin area that are willing to pick up swarms. Please do not leave a comment on this page as I don’t check it on a daily basis.

  • Send an an e-mail to austin-honeybee-network@googlegroups.com with a brief description of the swarm, general location, and best contact number. Pictures are also great if you have them to give the beekeepers an idea on what they may be dealing with.
  • Austin 311: The City of Austin will be able to provide a list of beekeepers and services that will come remove swarms and established hives. Please attempt to use a service that removes the bees instead of destroying them.

Please ask the beekeeper whether there is a charge for their time, fuel, or assistance. Depending on the situation, a beekeeper may come remove the bees free of charge, but it is always best to ask ahead of time.

Question: Is the swarm dangerous?

No. Honey bees in a swarm are unlikely to be aggressive and sting anyone unless you attack the bees. At this stage they do not have a home to defend and they have filled up with honey in preparation for the flight to their permanent home. If the honey bees stay and construct a wax nest they will become aggressive if you disturb them.

Question: Where did the honey bees in my yard come from? Why are they swarming?

There is a good possibility that a permanent nest (feral hive) of bees is located close to the swarm that has just landed. This could be in a cavity in a tree, a building, abandoned barrel, etc. This nest (colony) had a large population of honey bees and has run out of room to store honey, pollen and raise new bees. When this occurs the bees will begin to raise new queens and shortly before the new queens hatch the old queen will leave the hive with about one-half of the bees. The queen and bees will usually fly only a short distance, the queen will land on some object and the bees will cluster around her forming the swarm. If the first swarm does not reduce the crowding enough a second swarm may emerge.

Question: What will the swarm of honey bees do next if I don’t do anything?

Scout bees from the swarm will fly out to try to find a permanent home. If they find a suitable cavity they return to the swarm and perform a dance within the cluster communicating the location, size and other information about the possible new home. Bees receiving this information will fly to this location to investigate. When a sizable number of bees do the dance for a given location the entire swarm will leave and fly to the new nest site.

Question: How long does it take bees to find a new home?

It could take just a few hours, several days or it may not occur at all. If the scout bees do not find a suitable site they may begin building an exposed nest at the swarm location (in a tree, on the side of your house, etc.) This nest may become a problem to you. If you want a beekeeper to capture the swarm it is important to contact him or her as soon as possible. It is best to telephone the beekeeper.

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53 responses to “Report a Swarm

  1. Jon Hallmark

    I am looking for a swarm to adopt. I am a school teacher and have been wanting to do this for years. Have all the necessary equipment, just need to find a swarm. Thanks

    • Byron Browne

      I have two very near my home. Both inside oak trees. One has been there for a few years, the other just moved in behind the house two weeks ago.
      If you’d like, or know how to remove them, let me know.

    • Alejandro Ortiz

      I have a new hive that set up in an old upsidedown 20 gal pot in my back yard. Not structure to deal with, just smoke them and take the pot. They probably have been there since the spring but we just noticed them recently. They are available for a small rehoming fee.

    • Robin

      I have an established hive in a water meter. I am looking for someone to remove them so I don’t have to spray them.

    • Claudia

      I have discovered a very large swarm of honey bees located under/in the floor/walls of an old wooden shed located on Jim Hogg. I would like for someone to take this swarm before they have to be destroyed. Please call Claudia at 327-0807.

    • Gene Hammmonds

      I have a large hive in a Texas sage bush at 20500 FM 1431 in Lago Vista – Highland Lakes Real Estate office trying to have removed Gene Hammonds 512-422-1152

    • Judy

      Are you still wanting bees. I do not know if they are honey bees but I don’t want to just kill them. They just showed you 2days ago and there are more coming. What to do? Can you help?

      • Judy – I personally don’t need any more bees, but I know plenty of folks who may be interested if they are indeed bees. Can you be more specific by “showed up 2 days ago”? Where did they show up and what did it look like? Was it a large ball of bees in a tree or structure similar to this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bee_Swarm.JPG)? Any additional information would be helpful in determining if they are actually bees and how easy they would be to remove.

    • Chanda Schnitzler

      We have a swarm of bees in a mesquite tree in our front yard. We noticed it yesterday and would very much like for it to go away. We don’t want to kill them. We have pictures and video if any one is interested please contact us. Chanda_schnitzler@hotmail.com

    • Enrique Gomez

      Hi Jon,
      I have a big swarm of bees at my house that I need to get rid off.
      Please email me at enriquegomez@yahoo.com

  2. Pingback: Digging » Beekeeper to the rescue, saving the bees!

  3. Robin

    Thank you for your response. I failed to put that I live in Paige. Anyone offering to come charges more than I can afford at this time. The bee clubs told me to get the word out and there would be someone who would be able to help for an amount I could afford. So far no luck. Thanks again for your response.

  4. Robin

    Thanks. Talked to them last week. They think we are too far away also.

  5. Paula walls

    I would love to adopt a swarm. I am a new bee. Have been going to Austin urban bee meetings and wcaba meetings. Have an empty hive setup baited in hopes a swarm will be looking for a new home. No luck yet just look e loos. If you have a hive to split or a swarm. Email Paula.walls@sbcglobal.net. Thank you

  6. Patti Ulrich

    I have a good size bee’s nest in my tree, in the front yard, and I’m looking for someone that wants them. I hate to call an exterminator and would like to have someone take them. I live in the Avery Ranch area in Austin. please email me bluefirebeads@aol.com

  7. David Rodriguez

    I have a nest inside my oak tree, looks like two entry points. Would like to have them removed, I don’t want to kill them. I live in Cedar Park Tx.

  8. Mrs. Green

    I have a bee hive in my water meter, they showed up a few days ago. I have had no luck finding anyone to come out and remove the hive, they have been confirmed that they are honey bees. I have contacted the people on this page and they all say I live to far away from them or they charge way too much, almost 400.00 for a 45 minute drive. I live in Harker Heights, TX. I am needing them gone…..I am highly allergic to bees and my 7 yrs old almost walked right into the swarm of them a few days ago. Any help or information is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • You can try contacting the Williamson County Bee Association at info@wcaba.org. They are a bit closer to you and may have members nearby. I’d also check your local pest control companies to see if they do live bee removals or can recommend folks who do.

  9. verna

    This is an ad for free bees on craigslist. They are in a tree but you can cut it down. Check It out if you want bees.
    http://austin.craigslist.org/zip/4463333179.html

  10. Hello about 2 hours ago a swarm came and landed on my apple tree about 4 feet off the ground in my residential backyard. Live in SE Austin. Hoping there is someone interested in taking them (for free). Thank you. I have photos if helpful.

  11. Milana

    We have bees in a floor board of a shed in the back yard we need removed if anyone wants to take them. North austin.

  12. Jim Casparis

    Someone removed a shed from the property we are renting, and evidently there was a hive in the shed, because a swarm is still at the property where the shed was. It’s at the end of E. Slaughter ln & Old Lockhart rd. in Austin. We would like for someone who could use them and not destroy them to come get them for free

    • I’ve sent your message to beekeepers in the area, but if there really was a hive in the shed,my initial instinct is this is not a swarm. If the shed was removed during the day and it did indeed have a hive in it, all the foragers out collecting nectar and pollen would return to find their home gone. They will hang around the area of the shed for a few days.

  13. Sherry Sybesma

    I have bees living in the water meter cavity in my Austin rental. I am allergic to bee stings and my lawn people got stung when they tried to mow. I need the bees to be relocated. What do I do?

  14. Lori Niemtschk

    We have a swarm hanging out in a big cluster in a tree we share with several neighbors. I want a beekeeper to come save them.

  15. Kathy Harper

    I have a swarm of bees – yellow jackets in a large oak tree out front. Also have been creating nests around in the eaves. Have sprayed nests – they also have red wasps. Help! Need to eliminate the bees in the tree. Any. Help is appreciated. Saw a tv show that had free beekeeper a come and take th me but have lost the website. Thanks
    Kathy

    • Kathy, I’m a little confused if you have bees or yellow jackets. Is the hive on the outside of the tree or are they going into an opening in the tree?

  16. I desperately need a beehive removed from my house. It appears to be in the eave of my roof, however, it could be in the attic and the entry point might be the hole in the eave. Bees are swarming and going in and out of the hole. I was even stung by one today while picking up leaves in the area. I have a child who plays in the back yard and now it’s not safe. Please help with any suggestions for removal.

  17. Michael P.

    Had a swarm in yard then they ascended on the water meter box in the front yard and have now gone inside. They are hard at work now (a few days now) with a bee in and out of the hole every few seconds. Anyone want to come save them?
    I’m in Cedar Park. I am reaching out to Williamson county association as well but found this forum first.
    Cheers.

  18. Blythe

    We have a bee swarm in the backyard of our hospice home that needs to be addressed as quickly as possible. I hate to call out the exterminator for bees. We are in North Central Austin if anyone is interested.

  19. BLYTHE

    We have a bee hive in the backyard of our hospice home that has returned after it was removed a month ago. It is on the backside of a storage shed. We are off of Justin Lane in north central Austin if anyone would like to help with it’s removal.

  20. KATHLEEN

    We have a hive in a tree in our backyard. They need a good, new home. 🙂 I don’t want to have them exterminated if at all possible, but I’m also allergic.
    Anyone interested?
    Katie
    kathleen.o.RN at g m a i l . com

  21. Laura Lee Boice

    We had a swarm of bees fly into a cavity of our tree yesterday. It’s an old large oak tree in the backyard. We read that they might leave, but I think it could be a forever home. We have a large gathering coming up and we’d like to make sure the kiddos are safe. Is anyone still doing bee removal? (Noticed it’s been almost a year since last post.)

  22. Lester C. Wetherell II

    Has anyone responded yet? Swarms will often move on. Would you mind taking pictures to give me an estimate of how high up in the tree they are located. Please include in the picture an item like a yard stick, a 2″x4″x8′, a car or something of known standard length.

  23. Sammie

    Does anyone know how to contact Brandon Fehrenkamp for bee removal please ? Tried 512-569-6270 but no reply. Is there a new number ? I live in Austin. Thanks.

  24. Maria Adela Marin

    Hi i need seriously help i got honey bees in my way. Honey bees made a hole in my wall so there’s hundreds of honey bees my husband gets stink alot and my grandaughter get stink too, i dont no what to do please help desperately. Thank you, Maria

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