Swarm Help

If you are calling from outside Napa Valley, here are the links to other helpful bee clubs in the area that will be able to help you save the bees!

NORTH CALIFORNIA BEE CLUBS AND SWARM HELP

Alameda:           Alameda County Beekeeper Association
Contra Costa:   Mount Diablo Beekeeper Association
Marin:                Marin County Beekeepers
Monterey:         Monterey Bay Beekeepers (ABC)
Napa:                 Beekeepers of Napa Valley
San Fransisco: San Francisco Beekeepers Association
San Mateo:       Beekeepers’ Guild of San Mateo County
Santa Clara:     Santa Clara Valley Beekeepers Guild
Santa Clara:     The Gilroy Beekeepers
Santa Cruz:      Santa Cruz Beekeepers Guild
Sonoma:           Sonoma County Beekeepers’ Association

When contacting a beekeeper, pleased include the following:

  • Note the address (preferably with a nearby cross street).
  • Note the location of the bees. Are they in a tree, on a fence or structure; how far off of the ground? Are there any hazards the beekeeper should be aware of (near a utility line, above a thorny plant, soft soil, steep incline, etc) – If you can include a picture!
  • How large is the cluster of bees, “softball”, “grapefruit”, “basketball” sizes can be referenced. A very small cluster of bees may be stragglers from a passed swarm.
  • How long have the bees been there? The amount of time a swarm has been landed greatly affects the ability of a beekeeper to catch the swarm before they move on, but also affects how aggressive the bees might become – a swarm which has been lingering for a day will be getting restless.
  • If they’re not on your property, and in a neighbor’s yard, please provide our contact details for that neighbor – we can’t enter someone elses property without permission. The property owner or tenant must call a beekeeper.
  • If you’re greeted by an answering machine when calling a beekeeper, call another. If you choose to leave a message, please be sure to leave contact information.
  • If the swarm is in a yard, please provide access information (how close can a vehicle be brought, how steep is the terrain?).
  • If the swarm is high off the ground, if you have access to a reliable ladder which can be used by the beekeeper, please make the beekeeper aware of this.
  • Beekeepers provide the swarm capturing service for free, extractions usually require a fee – be clear on the cost of the job before engaging someone’s services.
  • If you have questions or need a consultation email napabeekeepers@gmail.com

Please call ONLY one beekeeper at a time. It is far too confusing and takes resources away from other calls.

Swarm Contact list – Area covered coding as follows Napa(n), Yountville(y), Rutherford(r) St. Helena(h) Calistoga(cal) Carneros (Car) Vallejo and American Canyon (V)

 

List of beekeepers is live and updated weekly, order is random

  • Robert Hunt, 707-287-8150, 2mhunts@hotmail.com all swarms (n,y,r,h) 1
  • John Humphrey,  -707 254-5691 – humphreyjd@yahoo.com all swarms (n,y,r) 3
  • Jorge Garibay (310) 536-6874 – ocoquin@hotmail.com (n,y) 5
  • Rob Revees, 707-337-2836 (n,a,y,r,v) 2
  • LouAnne Aaen, 707-227-8595 melasa@sbcglobal.net – below 8ft (cal)
  • Arnold Bunter, 707-339-0410 – abunter@sbcglobal.net – all swarms (n,y,r)
  • Will Ackley, 707-337-3800 – willackley@gmail.com (car)
  • Doug Dahme, 707-287-6514 – ddahme@sbcglobal.net (n) 1
  • Haroon Rasheed – 707-246-3461 – haroonn7702@hotmail.com all swarms (v) 3
  • George Altobell, 707-815-0590 – galtobell1@comcast.net below 8 ft. (n) 3
  • Jon Sevigny, 707-227-2489 – napabaybee@gmail.com – all swarms (n,y,r) 2

 

  • Extractions (homes, buildings, an extraction fee may bee involved) 
  • Rob Keller – 707 -486-5039 – Napavalleybeeco.com – all styles of extraction
  • Rob Revees, 707-337-2836 – all styles of extraction
  • Robert Hunt, 707-287-8150, 2mhunts@hotmail.com – simple extractions

 

  • Swarm Etiquette.

If anyone responds to a call, from the website or yahoo posting, please contact the caller immediately as they usually are very concerned. If you do collect the swarm, please be sure to respond to the website, yahoo page or the person who contacted you.

Our goal is provide quick and humane collection of swarms with no fee involved. Extractions are the only time where it is acceptable to charge for your time if you wish.

As a NVBK member you are expected to represent the association in an appropriate beekeeping manner:

  • Respond to swarm calls in a timely manner. If you cannot handle a specific call, you will refer the caller to the swarm list or to another beekeeper on the list.
  • Treat the bees in a humane fashion. Swarm retrieval is about saving the bees. I will not spray them with insecticides. Or recommend thier destruction.
  • Make every reasonable effort to retrieve the entire colony. I understand this means leaving the swarm box until sundown and returning to collect it once the foragers and scouts have an opportunity to return to their colony.
  • Take every precaution when dealing with bees. Please ask permission to enter properties, cutting branches or use of power or water. Keep unprotected people at a distance and if possible carry an Epi pen.
  • Once a swarm or extraction has been assigned. Please do not show up looking for bees. It is not acceptable to take a swarm when someone has gone to the trouble of going through the process and time to arrange collection.
  • You are responsible for your actions and liable if any injury or problems occur.
  • I have had a few new members (with little or no swarm capture experience) ask about inclusion on the Swarm List. At this time, we don’t have a ‘Swarm Capture Mentor’ program, so it is up to each member to seek out their own mentor.

    No FREE BEES – Our club has no official paid membership, and relies on the generosity of our members to make the club happen. Being an active member of the club entitles you to swarm and extraction duties. We simply ask the following:

  • Attend monthly meetings when possible and participate on the yahoo forum.
  • You are required to have adequate swarm (vetted by a member currently on the list) experience so that you do not endanger yourselves, the caller or the bees .Contact admin@beekeerpersofnapavalley.org for more information.

The Beekeepers of Napa (BKNV) publishes and distributes this swarm contact list as a service to the public. We are neither an oversight or certification organization for beekeepers. If you engage the services of anyone on the list, you need to be aware that you are engaging the services of that beekeeper as an individual – you are not hiring them as an agent of BKNV. Problems are rare, but if you should have one, it is a matter between you and the individual that you engaged to handle your bee situation.


Swarm collecting can sometimes be challenging. If you are an experienced member, PLEASE consider taking along a new-bee on one of your calls. Everyone has to start somewhere and we need our sage members to step up and help out our new members!


Swarm Collection will be posted in local papers, e-mailed to police and fire departments, master gardeners, ag commission and linked to other bee related sights and blogs.

Contact napabaybee@gmail.com for more information.

We are not currently a formal group, company or non-profit.

Disclaimer:
Some colony removals are more difficult than others. Varying skills and equipment are required. The Napa Valley Beekeepers does not endorse any particular beekeeper for your job. As a homeowner, you are responsible for verifying (1) that the beekeeper you employ has the appropriate skills, and (2) that a licensed, insured contractor is available to repair the damage.