Got a Swarm?

Sacramento Area Beekeepers Association (SABA) has member volunteers to collect honey bee swarms on private or public property–in most cases for free. Most of our members are hobbyist beekeepers, though some are small commercial beekeepers, in the Sacramento area. If you have a swarm on your property, don’t panic.

Why do bees swarm?

Bee swarms are a natural response to an overcrowded hive and half or more of the colony depart to look for a new nesting cavity. When bees are swarming they are generally docile. They will merely find a suitable spot to gather, as a temporary measure, while they send out scout bees to find a more permanent location 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 to protect their queen. With no brood nest to defend they are at their calmest. A swarm may cluster for a few hours or a few days before flying off to their new home.

If the honeybees seem to have made a home already, such as, in a tree, chimney, or inside a structure (wall, roof, etc) they are an established colony and no longer a swarm. The bees can still be safely removed, but the extraction process is more complicated. Removing an established colony is a Trap Out (TO) or Cut Out (CO) situation.  A colony extraction requires a bee removal specialist. There will be a fee, to be negotiated with the specialist.

What to Expect

A beekeeper volunteer will arrive with equipment to encourage most of the bee swarm to move into a box. Over the next few hours, the rest of the honey bee swarm will join their sisters in the box. The beekeeper may leave with the majority of the swarm captured or may return to remove the box at dusk and take it to a safe location where it can thrive.

Make Observations

Step One: Assessment

You’ve spotted a swarm of honey bees. Not everyone gets the opportunity to witness a swarm. DO NOT PANIC!  Bees are generally very gentle and docile when they swarm.

DO NOT attempt to move the bees.

DO NOT spray the bees with anything, even water as we do not want to agitate them or give them a reason to move on.

DO calmly assess the situation for the safety of yourself, any others nearby, and the swarm.

Things to Consider:

  • What do you see?  Make sure that what you see are honey bees, not wasps, yellow jackets or hornets.  Our beekeeper volunteers cannot legally address issues related to wasps, yellow jackets, or hornets.  Should you have an issue with these, please contact a licensed pest control company.
  • Is It A Honey Bee?
  • Where are the bees? You need to make sure that what you see is not a colony located inside a structure, such as a wall or attic. This is an established colony, not a swarm. For removal of an established colony you will need to contact a bee removal specialist equipped to handle a colony extraction.

If neither of these situations is the case, proceed to step two.

To ensure the beekeeper can accurately and safely address the swarm, please collect the following information and have it ready when you call:

  1. Who are you and how can we reach you?
  2. What is the exact location of the swarm (including cross street)? Or is the swarm on the move?
  3. Is the swarm on your property?  If not, please provide contact information for the property owner as our beekeepers cannot enter someone’s property without permission.
  4. How high off the ground is it?  Is the swarm very high off the ground? If the swarm is too high it presents challenges to the beekeeper which they may not be able to address.
  5. What size is the swarm? (tennis ball, softball, basketball, larger)
  6. How long has it been in this spot?
  7. Are there any hazards nearby like electrical wires, uneven ground, etc?
  8. Can a vehicle be parked close by?  Is there a driveway or gate code? How far will the beekeeper have to walk to get to the swarm?
  9. Please take multiple photos showing the swarm in context of its surroundings that could be texted to the beekeeper.

Use our geographically oriented Swarm List to identify a beekeeper who is willing to travel to the area where the swarm is located. The beekeeper volunteers listed may not be able to help you immediately, you may (will probably) have to make a few calls to find someone available to help. Leave clear, concise voicemails with your contact information and location of the swarm. If the person you call cannot respond in a timely manner, tell them that you will try the next person on the list.

All beekeepers on this list are volunteers, offering their time, and will try their best to safely and securely remove the swarm from the site to provide the colony with a happy home in their apiaries.

Scout bees in the swarm are actively looking for a new home and may leave your location within a few hours. We hope that you think that it is worthwhile to patiently partner with the beekeeper(s) that you call to work together to save the bees.

What to do while you wait: Stay calm. The honey bees will remain together in a clump, except for a few scouts. There is little danger of being stung, but keep others from approaching. If the bee swarm is in a public place, if you can, cordon off the area and post a sign saying that a beekeeper is on the way.

Please note that swarm services are for honey bee removal only. SABA cannot provide help with wasps or yellowjackets.

Colony Extractions

If a honey bee colony is established inside a house, for example, living in the chimney or an attic, it’s no longer a swarm. The bees can still be safely removed. But the extraction process is more complicated. There are bee removal specialists experienced in doing such extractions. There may be a fee to be negotiated with the individual specialist.  Below is a list of bee removal specialists compiled from information submitted to us by the individuals who appear in this list. 

Swarm Collecting Legalities

We can only collect swarms that appear to be on public land or where we believe we have been given permission by the property owner or the tenant in control of the property. If you see a swarm on private property and you’re not the owner, try to get the owner to call us.

Also, understand that we can’t return swarms we collect. (Legally speaking, swarming bees that are not “continuously within eyesight” of the original owner are considered wild animals and become the property of the collector.)

Find a Swarm Collector

This list of beekeepers is compiled from information submitted to us by the individuals who appear on this list. The list is currently covering Sacramento County areas due to the reduced membership.

The Sacramento Area Beekeepers Association publishes and distributes these swarm contact lists as an educational service to the public.  While we do our best to train and vet those on these lists, we are neither an oversight nor certification organization for beekeepers. SABA does not employ, recommend, or endorse any beekeeper’s skill, training, or expertise. Please check with individual beekeepers for their qualifications. Though problems are very rare, members of the public engage individual beekeepers on this list on their own accord.

Need help with a swarm in an area not listed? See the California State Beekeepers Association list of Affiliated Clubs in all areas of California to find a club or association near you. Two clubs near Sacramento County are El Dorado Beekeepers (eastward) and Big Valley Beekeepers Guild (southern).

Name Contact Info Availability Notes

Central Sacramento County

(Sacramento, South Natomas, East Sacramento, Oak Park, Del Paso Heights)
Louis Zurlo

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations. Available early morning till 8:30 a.m.; late afternoons, evenings and weekends
916-698-6800 Evenings, Weekday mornings, Weekends
Kandise King

Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- up to 25' high.
916-505-0262 Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Thursday, Wednesday
Tiffany White

Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescue. In a yard- up to 25' high.
916-342-0950 No Restrictions
Bar Shacterman

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations. Available 24 hours a day to remove bees and other stinging insects.
916-961-5049 No Restrictions
Victoria Alvarez

In a yard- up to 10' high.
916-833-1424 No Restrictions
Kevin Biddick

In a yard- up to 10' high and other situations.
916-877-4338 No Restrictions
DW Schoenthal

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations.
916-607-9595 No Restrictions
Blake Dacy

Bee removal specialist; cut outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations.
916-849-3528 No Restrictions
Doug Peccianti

Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- up to 25' high. More than 50 years beekeeping experience and former California state bee inspector. Experienced at carefully removing your honey bees and relocating them to a safe new home.
916-482-4272 No Restrictions
Paul Lockhart

Bee removal specialist, cut outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- up to 25' high; removal from standard rooftops.
916-813-2937 No Restrictions
Tina Macuha

In a yard- up to 10' high
916-761-0185 No Restrictions
Jeff Goding

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops.
916-502-7556 No Restrictions
Wally Westlake

In a yard- up to 10' high. Available most days, sun up to sun down.
916-813-1005 No Restrictions

Delta Area Sacramento County

(Isleton, Walnut Grove)
Bar Shacterman

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations. Available 24 hours a day to remove bees and other stinging insects.
916-961-5049 No Restrictions
Paul Lockhart

Bee removal specialist, cut outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- up to 25' high; removal from standard rooftops.
916-813-2937 No Restrictions
Jeff Goding

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops.
916-502-7556 No Restrictions
Ginger Shepherd

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations.
209-298-2081 No Restrictions
Wally Westlake

In a yard- up to 10' high. Available most days, sun up to sun down.
916-813-1005 No Restrictions
DW Schoenthal

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations.
916-607-9595 No Restrictions
Blake Dacy

Bee removal specialist; cut outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations.
916-849-3528 No Restrictions

East Sacramento County

(Citrus Heights, Orangevale, Fair Oaks, Carmichael, Arden-Arcade, Sierra Oaks)
Tiffany White

Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescue. In a yard- up to 25' high.
916-342-0950 No Restrictions
Doug Peccianti

Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- up to 25' high. More than 50 years beekeeping experience and former California state bee inspector. Experienced at carefully removing your honey bees and relocating them to a safe new home.
916-482-4272 No Restrictions
Wally Westlake

In a yard- up to 10' high. Available most days, sun up to sun down.
916-813-1005 No Restrictions
Bar Shacterman

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations. Available 24 hours a day to remove bees and other stinging insects.
916-961-5049 No Restrictions
Jeff Goding

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops.
916-502-7556 No Restrictions
Victoria Alvarez

In a yard- up to 10' high.
916-833-1424 No Restrictions
Tina Macuha

In a yard- up to 10' high
916-761-0185 No Restrictions
Blake Dacy

Bee removal specialist; cut outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations.
916-849-3528 No Restrictions
DW Schoenthal

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations.
916-607-9595 No Restrictions
Alex Young

Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- up to 10' high and other situations.
916-541-0833 No Restrictions
Tom Storelli

In a yard- up to 25' high
916-834-3756 No Restrictions
Louis Zurlo

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations. Available early morning till 8:30 a.m.; late afternoons, evenings and weekends
916-698-6800 Evenings, Weekday mornings, Weekends
Kevin Biddick

In a yard- up to 10' high and other situations.
916-877-4338 No Restrictions

North Sacramento County

(Elverta, Rio Linda, North Natomas, North Highlands, North Sacramento, Antelope)
Tiffany White

Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescue. In a yard- up to 25' high.
916-342-0950 No Restrictions
Kevin Biddick

In a yard- up to 10' high and other situations.
916-877-4338 No Restrictions
Blake Dacy

Bee removal specialist; cut outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations.
916-849-3528 No Restrictions
Brit Barnes

In a yard- trees up to 25' high. Available all weekday mornings and most afternoons.
253-678-4505 Weekday afternoons, Weekday mornings
Wally Westlake

In a yard- up to 10' high. Available most days, sun up to sun down.
916-813-1005 No Restrictions
DW Schoenthal

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations.
916-607-9595 No Restrictions
Louis Zurlo

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations. Available early morning till 8:30 a.m.; late afternoons, evenings and weekends
916-698-6800 Evenings, Weekday mornings, Weekends
David Forristall
916-308-1944 No Restrictions
Bar Shacterman

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations. Available 24 hours a day to remove bees and other stinging insects.
916-961-5049 No Restrictions
Jeff Goding

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops.
916-502-7556 No Restrictions
Doug Peccianti

Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- up to 25' high. More than 50 years beekeeping experience and former California state bee inspector. Experienced at carefully removing your honey bees and relocating them to a safe new home.
916-482-4272 No Restrictions
Victoria Alvarez

In a yard- up to 10' high.
916-833-1424 No Restrictions
Kandise King

Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- up to 25' high.
916-505-0262 Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Thursday, Wednesday

South East Sacramento County

(Folsom, Rosemont, La Riviera, Mather, Rancho Cordova, Gold River, White Rock, Vineyard)
Wally Westlake

In a yard- up to 10' high. Available most days, sun up to sun down.
916-813-1005 No Restrictions
Tina Macuha

In a yard- up to 10' high
916-761-0185 No Restrictions
Blake Dacy

Bee removal specialist; cut outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations.
916-849-3528 No Restrictions
Bar Shacterman

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations. Available 24 hours a day to remove bees and other stinging insects.
916-961-5049 No Restrictions
Tiffany White

Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescue. In a yard- up to 25' high.
916-342-0950 No Restrictions
Casey Scott

In a yard- up t.o 10' high. Available after noon and before sunset
916-747-3420 Friday, Monday, No mornings, Saturday, Sunday, Thursday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Tom Storelli

In a yard- up to 25' high
916-834-3756 No Restrictions
Victoria Alvarez

In a yard- up to 10' high.
916-833-1424 No Restrictions
Jeff Goding

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops.
916-502-7556 No Restrictions
Louis Zurlo

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations. Available early morning till 8:30 a.m.; late afternoons, evenings and weekends
916-698-6800 Evenings, Weekday mornings, Weekends
DW Schoenthal

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations.
916-607-9595 No Restrictions
Kevin Biddick

In a yard- up to 10' high and other situations.
916-877-4338 No Restrictions

South Sacramento County

(Laguna, Elk Grove, Wilton, Herald, Franklin, Hood, Galt, Clay)
Paul Lockhart

Bee removal specialist, cut outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- up to 25' high; removal from standard rooftops.
916-813-2937 No Restrictions
Jeff Goding

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops.
916-502-7556 No Restrictions
Bar Shacterman

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations. Available 24 hours a day to remove bees and other stinging insects.
916-961-5049 No Restrictions
Wally Westlake

In a yard- up to 10' high. Available most days, sun up to sun down.
916-813-1005 No Restrictions
Don Ruddick

Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- up to 25' high.
916-217-4867 Weekends Only
Brad Wilkins

In a yard- up to 10' high,
916-539-1915 No Restrictions
DW Schoenthal

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations.
916-607-9595 No Restrictions
Blake Dacy

Bee removal specialist; cut outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations.
916-849-3528 No Restrictions
Ginger Shepherd

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations.
209-298-2081 No Restrictions

West Sacramento County

(South Land Park, Greenhaven, Pocket, Meadowview, Freeport, Valley Hi)
Tina Macuha

In a yard- up to 10' high
916-761-0185 No Restrictions
Bar Shacterman

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations. Available 24 hours a day to remove bees and other stinging insects.
916-961-5049 No Restrictions
Blake Dacy

Bee removal specialist; cut outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations.
916-849-3528 No Restrictions
DW Schoenthal

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations.
916-607-9595 No Restrictions
Doug Peccianti

Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- up to 25' high. More than 50 years beekeeping experience and former California state bee inspector. Experienced at carefully removing your honey bees and relocating them to a safe new home.
916-482-4272 No Restrictions
Jeff Goding

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops.
916-502-7556 No Restrictions
Tiffany White

Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescue. In a yard- up to 25' high.
916-342-0950 No Restrictions
Victoria Alvarez

In a yard- up to 10' high.
916-833-1424 No Restrictions
Jean Nelson

In a yard- up to 10' high
916-425-5899 Sunday, Thursday, Tuesday
Wally Westlake

In a yard- up to 10' high. Available most days, sun up to sun down.
916-813-1005 No Restrictions
Don Ruddick

Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- up to 25' high.
916-217-4867 Weekends Only
Louis Zurlo

Bee removal specialist; cut outs and trap outs. Experienced swarm collector willing to assist with challenging swarm rescues. In a yard- 25' high and above; removal from standard rooftops and other situations. Available early morning till 8:30 a.m.; late afternoons, evenings and weekends
916-698-6800 Evenings, Weekday mornings, Weekends

Bee Removal Specialist

If you have honeybees (not wasps, yellow jackets, or hornets) in a wall, tree, or a structure on your property, please call a professional to safely remove the bees. As a courtesy, below is a list of bee removal specialists who are experienced, licensed, insured, and may charge a fee for service.

The Sacramento Area Beekeepers Association publishes and distributes these swarm contact lists as an educational service to the public.  While we do our best to train and vet those on these lists, we are neither an oversight nor certification organization for beekeepers. SABA does not employ, recommend, or endorse any beekeeper’s skill, training, or expertise. Please check with individual beekeepers for their qualifications. Though problems are very rare, members of the public engage individual beekeepers on this list on their own accord

Name Contact Info Availability Notes
Bar Shacterman
916-961-5049 No Restrictions
Ginger Shepherd
209-298-2081 No Restrictions
Blake Dacy
916-849-3528 No Restrictions
Jeff Goding
916-502-7556 No Restrictions
DW Schoenthal
916-607-9595 No Restrictions
Louis Zurlo
916-698-6800 Evenings, Weekday mornings, Weekends
Paul Lockhart
916-813-2937 No Restrictions