Welcome to the San Francisco Beekeepers Association

Mark Twain is credited with saying that “the coldest winter he ever experienced was a summer in San Francisco.” He may have been right! However, this truism does not mean San Francisco is a bad place for honey bees or for beekeeping. In fact, San Francisco is a great place for honey bees. We enjoy a mild Mediterranean climate and a continuous flowering of trees, shrubs and plants for nearly 10 months out of the year.

May 16: Merilyn Manley-Harris talks about New Zealand’s Mānuka Honey

On Tuesday, May 16, at 7pm, Professor Manley-Harris will speak to the club about mānuka honey and some of the research in which we have been involved and how this impacts upon beekeepers, honey packers and the consumer.

This event will be held at St. John Armenian Apostolic Church, 275 Olympia Way and is open to the public, but we ask that you RSVP here.

Monthly meetings

Thinking of becoming a beekeeper? Come to our meetings and meet new and veteran beekeepers!

When: Second Wednesdays. Q&A session starts at 6:45pm, followed by the general meeting at 7:30pm.

Where: St. John Armenian Apostolic Church, 275 Olympia Way

FREE – Open to the public

Need help with a swarm?


Honeybee swarms are easy to identify. A swarm is a large mass of bees clinging to an object such as a tree branch or bush, side of house, or even just on the ground.

Do not panic if you find a swarm of honeybees on or near your property, and do not reach for a pesticide or call an exterminator. Swarming bees are not aggressive; in fact, they are very gentle. They have no colony of brood, pollen or honey to protect. They are just hanging out until some of their “scouts bees” can find a suitable location for the swarm to set up a new home. Moreover, honey bees are beneficial insects even in an urban environment. They are generalists, pollinating fruit trees, vegetable gardens as well as native and non-native plants in our yards and parks.

However, because the most suitable of locations within an urban environment for a swarm to take up residence are spaces in walls and attics of structures, it is best to have a beekeeper capture the swarm, remove it from the property and give it a suitable home in a hive box. Honey bees live in cavities, and fill the cavities up with wax comb in which they raise their young, store pollen and nectar for food. They do not live in the ground. If you have a buzzing insect going in and out of a hole in the ground or among debris, it most likely is a yellow jacket or a wasp of some kind.

To report a bee swarm in San Francisco, click here.

Photo credit: Nicolás Boullosa