Swarm & Hive Removal

*Attention for Summer 2018: Honey bees are going through a secondary swarm season (supersedure) this time of year.  Please look at the pictures below which show a cluster of bees which is when they are taking a rest during swarming.  If they do not look like that, we cannot collect them.  As of July 19th, we began to see swarming in the area again.

  • Trees – If you have found a hive that is located in a tree, unless it is a fallen tree, we cannot remove it with much success.  Please let them stay in the tree, if possible.  They are, generally, harmless unless you start bothering their hive directly.  They will not hurt your dogs.

  • Buildings/Houses/Structures – If you have an active hive in a building or structure, please try contacting one of the professional members listed below for removal.  The Swarm Team does not do established hive removals from structures for free.

  • Swimming Pools – Honeybees love to take a drink from a swimming pool as their water source.  There is not much you can do about this other than try to supply them with a different water source, like a birdbath.

SWARMS:  E-mail KBA Swarm Team KBA-Swarm-Call@googlegroups.com    By emailing our swarm team a message is sent to individual KBA club beekeepers who are experienced in honey bee removal. Please include your name, address, phone number, description and picture of insects. Response times are typically less than 30 minutes.

Swarms are generally non-aggressive colonies as they are not protecting brood or honey.  They are looking for a new home and fly from place to place as a group until they find one, occasionally resting in an area as a colony before they take off again.   Swarms can stay in a location anywhere from a few minutes to a week or so, so time is of the essence.

A honey bee hive occurs when the colony has already found a home and has setup shop in a tree or even the side of a house.  Honey bee hives are not underground, these are generally bumble bee or wasp hives.  Honey bee hives will have comb where the bees have already started making foundation for the brood.

Before contacting us please confirm what you have are honey bees using the pictures and guides below.  We receive many non-honey bee calls that we cannot remove.

Click here for guide to identify your “bee”.

Common Bee Wasp Hornet Identification

Consult this Guide before contacting us: Bee, Wasp, & Hornet Identification Guide

Reproductive Swarms
Have you found a swarm of bees on your property and don’t know what to do? First of all, don’t panic. A swarm of bees hanging in a cluster will do you no harm. Swarms are not aggressive because they have no hive (comb with brood) to defend at this time.  Swarms occur almost anywhere and are meeting & resting sites while the bees migrate to their new home. Swarms may stay on a swarming site for as little as 15 minutes or for several days or more. So when you see a swarm, keep in mind that they will not be on that site permanently. Swarms occur most often in mid to late Spring (May-June), less frequent in summer, ending in October. Please don’t call an exterminator or a pest control service!  They will only kill the bees to rid them. A KBA beekeeper will be more than happy to remove swarm free of charge. Simply click the email button above.

 Feral Bee Hive Removal (Cut-outs & Trap-outs)

If a swarm of bees has established a home of comb in an unwanted location, such as inside a tree on your property, inside a structure’s chimney, or within the walls or eaves of your home, the bees can be removed in a process called trapping or cut-out removal. Please be advised that removing bees in this manner can involve dis-assembling parts of your home or building. Make sure you have a clear understanding with your beekeeper about the complete process and who will be responsible for what will happen from beginning to end of the entire project. A fee is usually paid to the beekeeper for this type of removal because of the amount of time and labor involved. We do not recommended spraying hives in buildings or homes with insecticide; not only are beneficial pollinators killed, but the honey, wax and dead bees will remain in the wall and attract all-kinds of bugs and rodents including mice, roaches, moths, beetles and yellow-jackets. The best course is to remove the hive in its entirety.

KBA Swarm & Hive Removal Team

Email our entire team at once via KBA-Swarm-Call@googlegroups.com

Swarm and Hive Removal 2018 Team Members

(Honey Bee, Apis Millifera Only)

Below are KBA team members and the part of town for which they reside or work.  Contact the closest team member to the location of the swarm/hive, preferably by text or call and with pictures and information.  Catching swarms is time-sensitive.  Some members will do tree cut-outs and other hive removal work.  Please ask.  If they are unable to do so, they can suggest someone who may be able to remove.

  • Zip codes 40205, 40206 (Highlands and surrounding areas)
    • Lara (502) 500-1300
  • Zip code 40206 (Crescent Hill)
    • Beth (502) 419-6571
  • Zip code 40219, 40229, 40165 (Okolona, Highview, Hillview, Shepherdsville)
    • Leonard (502) 387-9010
  • Zip code 40241 (Creekside, East End)
    • Betsy (502) 767-7177
    • David (502) 475-0846
  • Zip code 40047 (South East Louisville, Mt. Washington, KY)
    • Reuben (502) 802-8865
  • Zip code 47150 (New Albany, IN)
    • Lara (502) 500-1300
Wasps, Hornets, Yellow Jackets, Bumble Bees, Carpenter Bees, and Honeybee hives inside of walls removal

Ernie Sharp 502-460-3609
Ernie is the person you need if you have honeybees trapped in the walls of your home.  He specializes in this detailed removal.  The swarm team is, generally, unable to help with these complex removals due to time commitments. 

The Kentuckiana Beekeepers Association (KBA) helps connect honey bee related requests with member beekeepers as a volunteer service to the community. The KBA makes no claims to the level of experience or skill that a member beekeeper may have in either swarm rescue or colony removal. It is the responsibility of the person requesting service, and the member beekeeper, to determine what service will be provided, if it is pro bono (free) or if the member beekeeper charges a fee