MABA members can simply request to be added to the club’s swarm list.
- You will indicate how high you are willing to climb to retrieve a swarm and where you live.
- The swarm list manager will make the call based on queue order, location, and preferences.
- Swarm calls come in at all hours. If you are on the swarm list, you may be called at any time.
- Being on the swarm list does not guarantee that you will receive a call – swarm seasons can vary greatly.
- Those on the MABA swarm list must be current members, have the equipment necessary to retrieve a swarm and give us their limitations so we can choose who to call.
We will do our best to pre-qualify these calls to assure that it is indeed a retrievable swarm of honeybees, and a not bee removal job. We do our best to give everyone a chance to get a swarm who wants one. Please fill out the form below each Winter even if the information is unchanged from the previous year.
“This swarm was about three feet off the ground in a shrub. After spraying the cluster gently with sugar water, I cut the branch and lowered branch and all into a new hive box with a sealed entrance. Most swarm calls are not this easy.”
Tom Rearick, MABA member & Master Beekeeper
- A bee-proof box or nuc that you will place the swarm into for transport to their new home
- Straps or tape to keep your container bee-tight. Foam rubber can seal a nuc or hive entrance
- Bedsheet, table cloth, or ground cloth to catch bees that fall to the ground
- Sugar water in a sprayer to spray on the bees to discourage flight
- Pruning shears, loppers, or pruning saw to cut a branch holding a swarm
- Bee brush and dust pan if the bees are on a car, fencepost, etc.
- A ladder. Best to ask if you can borrow a local ladder
- Bee suit
Understand that the bees will depart once they find a suitable permanent home. You might have a day before they leave their bivouac or minutes. They won’t wait for you to pick them up.