Do not panic. A large cluster of bees is called a "swarm". Bee swarms are generally very docile, as they gorge on honey just before leaving their hive to find a new cavity to call home. They can be collected and relocated before they take up residence in or near your home.
We gently shake the bee swarm into a hive box. Once the airborne swarm of bees discover their queen is in the box, the swarm will march right in to join her. We leave the box on site for a day or two to let the bees settle in, then remove it after dark after all of the foraging bees have returned. Honey bee swarms are relocated to one of our beeyards.
Swarm collections typically take less than an hour. We gently shake, scoop or lift the bee swarm into a box. Once the bees that do not go into the box discover their queen is inside, the remainder of the swarm will march or fly in to join her. We may leave the box on site for a day to let the bees settle in, then remove it after dark after all foraging bees have returned.
We generally do not collect swarms more than 10' above the ground. Removal of a swarm that has moved under or into a tree, shed, home, chimney or other structure is called a "cut out". We do not perform cutouts or removals, but may be able to refer you to others who may perform those services (typically for a fee). We also do not collect or remove yellow jackets, wasps, carpenter bees, or insects other than honey bees.
We relocate each swarm to a new hive box in one of our bee yards, where we provide it with the space, equipment and resources it needs to expand and thrive.
Please call us ASAP to share information about the location, accessibility, height off of the ground, and approximate size (grapefruit, cantaloupe, basketball, etc.) of the swarm. Please do not spray or disturb it. It can help us to see photos of the swarm--please send images to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a small swarm. It was gathered in a crabapple tree about 24" above the ground.
After removing the frames from a nucleus hive box and positioning it under the swarm, a vigorous shake gets and most of the bees into the box.
Bees that didn't fall into the box gathered in the tree before sensing the pheromones released by bees fanning at the entrance, then walked right in
This large swarm filled two deep boxes.
Once the queen is in the hive box, the rest of the swarm simply walks in.