Although the Stark County Beekeepers' Association does not provide swarm or feral colony removal/recovery services as an organization, many of our members offer this service as private individuals. Here is what you need to know if you have a swarm of honeybees on your property.
First, don't panic! Although a large clump of bees may look intimidating if you are not used to being around them, a honeybee swarm is just a split-off group from an established colony, and all they want is to find a new home. They have no brood, and no honey, to defend, so their instincts make them quite passive during the swarming process. They won't bother you if you don't bother them.
A feral colony of bees, that is, a colony nested inside a building, or a hollow tree, etc., is not a swarm. They will behave as bees usually do, but even then, the honeybees that live in this part of the United States are not very aggressive. As with the swarm, if you leave them alone, they will leave you alone. Honeybees do not eat wood; if they are inside your building, it is because they found an entry point that was already open.
While the swarming bees are no special danger to you, they won't stay around for long. Normally, they will linger in a clump for just a few hours while scout bees look for a new permanent home, so you need to call us immediately when you find the swarm. With an established colony in a tree or building, please contact someone from the cut out list by clicking here
This is a swarm. They are just looking for a new home
Swarm and Colony Recovery
Having a beekeeper recover your honeybee swarm is a much better alternative than an exterminator! You get the unwanted bees removed, a beekeeper obtains a valuable colony of bees, and the environment benefits from the presence of one more colony of bees to help pollinate crops and wild plants.
Customarily, a beekeeper who recovers a swarm from your property will not expect to be paid for that service, but he or she will also not expect to pay you for the bees. It's usually considered an even swap of removal services in exchange for the bees. The beekeeper will not cut large branches from trees, or open walls or ceilings of your building (if the bees are inside) without your permission, but if you give permission to do this, you are responsible for repairing the building after the bees are gone. This is the "typical" arrangement; specific arrangements for your situation are whatever you and the individual beekeeper agree.
Please try to be sure you have honeybees and not hornets, mason/carpenter bees, or wasps. The "yellow jacket" that is the bane of picnics is a type of hornet, not a bee. A beekeeper is not the same as an exterminator; the latter requires specialized training and a government license or permit (depending on where you live), so we are not able to offer those services. If you see insects coming out of a hole in the ground, or out of a paper or mud nest, they aren't honeybees, and unfortunately we can't help you.
Whom to Call
The following list includes members of the Stark County Beekeepers' Association who are willing to be called for swarm and feral colony removal. Please understand that these people are volunteers and are acting as private individuals; we all have jobs and families that take priority over our beekeeping activities. If you cannot reach the person nearest to you, or they are not able to respond at this time, please try another person from the list. If you call more than one person, please let each one know so that we can coordinate efforts.
This list changes often, as beekeepers have available hive equipment and/or time to do recoveries. Rather than printing this list out, please come to the web site as needed to get the latest information.
Please note: This list has a scroll bar on the right. Scroll to see everyone on the list and pick someone close to your location.