Report a Swarm in San Francisco

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

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 Referral Line at (415) 99-SWARM or (415) 997-9276.

Our volunteers will put you in touch with a beekeeper 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. Most of these individuals 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. They are not pest control professionals. They are experienced with honey bees and can rescue them unless the bees are too high, in a wall, etc. They remove honeybees only. They are not able to work with wasps, hornets, yellow jackets or carpenter bees, although some may be able to assess your need and make suggestions.

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:

The San Francisco Beekeepers Association provides swarm and honeybee removal referral as a service to the public. We are neither an oversight or a certification organization for beekeepers. If you engage the services of anyone on the list, please be aware that you are engaging the services of that beekeeper as an individual, not hiring them as an agent of the San Francisco Beekeepers Association. Problems are rare, but if one occurs, it is a matter between you and the individual that you engaged to handle your bee situation. We welcome feedback but can’t mediate your situation.