Swarm Reporting

Reporting a Swarm

If you see a bee swarm, contact either Matthew Yearout (DCBA President) or Donna Devanney (DCBA Founder).

Swarms are often mistakenly reported when none is present. Our swarm extractors move quickly to retrieve honey bee swarms, and it is important that they not waste their time. Honey bees don’t wait around for us, and we miss an opportunity to catch a real swarm while chasing misreported swarms. For retrievable swarms, a DCBA member will come and extract the swarm ASAP. When you call/email, the following information will be very helpful:

  • Have you found a stationary cluster of thousands of bees?
  • Are they reachable?
  • Will a ladder be needed? How tall?
  • Are they on a tree limb or pole that can be cut or shaken, or are they on/inside something immovable and require a bee vacuum?

Identifying a Honey Bee

Flying insects can be difficult to identify if they refuse to stop buzzing around our heads. The key attributes to look for when discerning a bee from a wasp is fuzzy vs shiny.

  • Honey bees are fuzzy, as all cute animals should be.
  • Wasps are bald and shiny. Also they are skinny, and have a more pronounced “wasp waist”.

A google image search provides comparisons of honey bees and wasps, aka yellow jackets.

Identifying a Honey Bee Swarm

The word “swarm” if often used to describe just any large population of insects on the move, but its meaning is much more specific when speaking of Honey Bees. A swarm is not merely a lot of bees flying around, though you may see many bees flying around the swarm. The swarm is actually a relatively calm cluster of bees perched on some surface. A bee ball, as it were.

A google image search provides many examples of true swarms.

If you haven’t found such a ball of bees, then no one can extract them. They need to be in this dense, landed state for anyone to be able to gather them and take them away.