Take My Bees, PLEASE!

There’s a big ball of bees hanging out in my yard. What do I do?

What you’re seeing is probably a swarm of honey bees.  Swarming is Nature’s way of increasing the number of honey bee colonies in the world. Swarms usually are seen in May or June.  This year’s mild winter and warm spring has given local honey bees a leg up and so you may see swarms earlier or more often than in the past.

When airborne they seem huge but generally range in size from a football to a basketball. Some are much larger. Honey bee swarms are usually very docile, not having a home to defend. They are often observed in transit.

These migrating swarms are very desirable to beekeepers who like to collect swarms. Once they take up residence in a wall or chimney, they are much harder to deal with. Many beekeepers do not have the skill or inclination to tackle the removal of bees from such predicaments. Ultimately, if honey bees get into your walls, you may have to call an exterminator.

Bees, once on your property, belong to you and you can do with them what you see fit. They are not an endangered species, nor is it illegal to kill them it they become a nuisance. We hope you will give our beekeepers a chance to rescue them, however.

Please do not call beekeepers about hornets, wasps, bumble bees, carpenter bees, yellow jackets, termites or spiders. Honey bees are recognized by their small size and their downy appearance. Other insects may be similar in color. If you’re not sure, a web page like this can help you distinguish honey bees from hornets and wasps.


NOTE:  Only a few beekeepers will tackle bee removal from buildings or structures.  Look for the Hammer image to find one if you want bees out of a house, barn, shed, et cetera.

Caroline, etc

Erica Frenay: 607-255-9911

Erika Medina: (607) 657-2504

Central New York

Matt Mallory: 315-567-9268, www.MalloryMarket.com

Erika Medina: (607) 657-2504

Danby, Willseyville, etc

David Hopkins: 607-220-7400

Peter Loring Borst: 607-280-4253

Dryden East (Dryden, Freeville, etc)

Hammer Tammy Fazzi and Hank Czerwick: 607-844-9545, 607-745-3884 (c) Note: will do cutouts

Dryden West (Ithaca, Varna, Ellis Hollow, Slaterville, Harford)

Hammer Nancy Munkenbeck: 607-351-0113 (cell), 607-539-7902 (home) Note: will do cutouts

Ithaca, Cayuga Heights, etc

Lesli Sagan: lesli@avitalsapiaries.com

HammerZahar Hazday: BEE in the spirit/Apiaries, Zaharhazday@gmail.com 607 793 7447. Will do cut outs and travel in a 50 mile radius of ithaca.

Georg Jander: 607-254-1365 (work), 607-257-5804 (home)

Rick Kaufman: kaufmanf@ithaca.edu

Joseph Steuer: 607-229-7511, Ithacadwellings@gmail.com

Hannah Whitehead (especially downtown and South Hill): (585) 217-1576 (cell), hwhiteh1@ithaca.edu

Susan McCutcheon:  (607) 272-4468 (home), (607) 351-5136 (cell)

Michael Smith:  281-686-4717, smithleemichael@gmail.com

Jason Hamilton: (607) 351-0225 (cell)

Donald Specker (East Hill area): 607-227-4090

Lansing, Groton, Genoa, Locke, etc

Bob Kozlowzki: 607-533-4639


Kara Cusolito (Dryden East or West): 508-274-1375

Matt Gordon: mattgordon11@gmail.com 558-8416

Syracuse, Central New York and beyond (over 50 mile radius)

Hammer Brennon Bower: 315-382-8808 – bowercompany@gmail.com (+gas charge)

HammerTammy Riker: 315-496-3545 or 315-283-6180 (cell) tammy.riker@yahoo.com Free outside removal. If swarm (hive) is inside the building it will be disgust on a case to case basis. If removal is possible it may incur a fee.

Ulysses, Trumansburg, etc

Barb Dewall: 607-387-9603

Hammer Marvin and Kevin Pritts: 387-6010

Hammer Gigi Marks: 607-229-6905, www.fairhands.org

North Ulysses, Hector, Lodi, Covert, Ovid and Romulus

Duane Waid: 607-532-4391

Clyde, 10 mile radius

John Homan: 315-923-9750


Jason Samson: (607) 425-7891


Hammer Daniel Fimlaid: danandcarolefimlaid@yahoo.com 607-346-6751

Minoa – Kirkville – Fayetteville area

John Ferguson  : 315-503-1818

Cortland County

Hammer Rick Alexander 607-836-6954: will do swarms in Cortland county as well as cut-outs, and trap outs; 7 yrs experience. Outside of Cortland county there is a gas surcharge otherwise estimates are free.

Hammer Nancy Munkenbeck: 607-351-0113 (cell), 607-539-7902 (home) Note: will do cutouts

Schuyler County (Mountour Falls adjacent)

Hammer Erik Holter: 607.210.4192almostaapiary@gmail.com Note: will do cutouts

Tompkins County

Hammer Nancy Munkenbeck: 607-351-0113 (cell), 607-539-7902 (home) Note: will do cutouts