Bee swarm

Bee swarming is a natural part of nature.

The San Francisco Beekeepers Association is dedicated to promoting bees and beekeeping here in the City. As a public service, we provide a swarm hotline.

If you see a swarm of bees, don’t panic. Bees in a swarm are universally in a good mood. They cannot easily sting, even if antagonized, as they have gorged themselves with honey and cannot get their bodies into the best position to sting. If the swarm is not causing a nuisance then leave it be or find a beekeeper to come take the swarm away. If the swarm is not captured and removed, it will cluster in a bush or tree and remain there for up to three days. During that time scout bees will search for a suitable location for the swarm to establish a new nest. For more information on swarms, click here.

To report a swarm in San Francisco, please call the SFBA Swarm Dispatcher at (415) 99-SWARM or (415) 997-9276.

Our volunteer dispatcher will put you in touch with an SFBA member who has experience collecting honey bee swarms and/or removing honey bee colonies from structures, and who wishes to offer these services. There may or not be a charge, so please be sure to ask.

Our members are not licensed to apply pesticides and, as bee “keepers,” they do not seek to intentionally kill honey bees during the swarm removal or colony extraction process.

Click here for information about regulations on beekeeping by the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

If you would like to report a swarm outside of San Francisco, please contact:

Alameda County

Marin County

Santa Clara Valley (San Jose) Beekeepers Guild

San Mateo County

Sonoma County