Every year the MDBA volunteers help their communities by collecting local swarms. This is a win-win deal because residents have bees removed, beekeepers get a new colony of survivor stock, bees find a good home and are saved from destruction, and the MDBA receives a $50 donation to help with school and community programs and other club activities. swarm

Do You Have a Swarm?
Not sure if what you see is a swarm of honeybees? Having trouble connecting with a volunteer? Send a message to Stacey Bauer, (vicepresident@diablobees.org). The MDBA requests a $50 donation for swarm removal services. This money is used for our educational programs. MDBA members are volunteers. We are not licensed contractors, and will pass on hazardous removals.

1. Relax - when bees are swarming they are generally very docile and show no aggressive tendencies. They will merely find a suitable spot to gather, as a temporary measure, while they send out scouts to find a more permanent cavity as a new home. They are not too choosy about where this temporary spot will be, it could be in a tree/bush, on a clothesline, a fence, a bicycle, anywhere that they can land to form a cluster.

2. MAKE A MENTAL NOTE - of where they are (would a ladder be needed to get at them?) roughly the size of the swarm (tennis ball, football, etc), and how long it has been in this spot. Then armed with this information...

3. FIND A LOCAL BEEKEEPER - Use our Swarm List (to the left) to identify a beekeeper in the East Bay and give them a call. If you don't find someone near you, local officials usually have lists of local beekeepers who have been willing to collect swarms in the past. Check with your local police, animal or vector control, or wildlife museums and zoos. Most hobbiests don't have room for more than a few swarms, so you may have to make a few calls to find someone who can help. Think of the bees you're saving! It's worth it.

4. AT A SAFE DISTANCE - Sit back, watch and wait for the beekeeper to arrive. Any beekeeper will tell you that there is something very magical about a swarm. There is an electric feeling in the air, as the bees swirl round before clustering in a ball. Watching a swarm hived is an experience that you will never forget. If the beekeeper throws down a sheet you'll see them march into the darkness of the hive - as if someone had given an army its marching orders.

5. TELL OTHERS of your experience. All too often, bees get very bad press. Honey bees are not the same as the wasps at the summer picnic. You will, by now, know differently, of course, as you will have seen at first hand just how docile and truly magical these little insects can be.

Collecting swarms is fun and easy and is a great way to educate the public about the value of bees, the secrets of their lifestyles and the relative harmlessness of the swarm. The Swarm List is being completely updated for 2015. If you are an MDBA member and would like to be added to the Swarm List in 2016 please send Stacey an email with the following information:

  1. Your name
  2. Your contact phone number
  3. Which cities you are willing to travel to in order to pick up swarms

This is a volunteer activity for which the club asks a donation. If you perform professional swarm removals and charge for your services please don't sign up unless you intend to waive your fee for club calls. If, during the course of the year, you find you have no more room for swarms please let Stacey know so that you can be removed from the list.


Swarm List Volunteers:
Select A City and Click the Button to Display the List:


© Mount Diablo Beekeepers Association, Walnut Creek California USA