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Wake County Beekeepers Association

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Help I've got Bees!

People often call the WCBA when a swarm of honeybees enters their lives. We have many members who are willing and able to remove swarms for free.

WCBA Members Only – Swarm list guidelines

What to do

  1. Do NOT spray! Honeybee swarms are not aggressive and will leave you alone if you leave them alone. There is no need to spray pesticides or even just water on the swarm. This will only anger and kill the bees but they will not fly away.
  2. Are they honeybees? WCBA members will only remove honeybee swarms or hives. We will not help with wasps, hornets or other insects. The easiest way to tell is the honeybees are hairy, while hornets and wasps are hairless and shiny.
  3. Is it a swarm?  You might have a bunch of bees flying around but that does not mean it is necessarily a swarm. If you have a swimming pool or pond, they might just be thirsty. A swarm is a clump or cluster of bees, usually hanging on a branch or structure. Swarms appear most often from March – July but sometimes at other times of the year. These bees are looking for a new home so we can help remove them before they decide your attic or a box in the shed is where they want to live.
  4. Call Immediately! When bees swarm, time is of the essence. A swarm in the open is relatively easy to catch, but will only stay in the open several hours before finding a refuge. Once they find a defensible nesting site – inside a tree, wall or attic – capture is much more difficult.

When you call, be ready to share…

  • WHO:  Please provide your name, address and telephone number!
  • WHAT:  Are you sure they’re honeybees?  Take a photo of the swarm with your cell phone and send it to the person you call!
  • WHEN:  How long have the bees been in their present location?
  • WHERE:  What is the address where they are located? Are they on your property?  If not, whose property are they on?  If we can’t find you, we can’t collect the swarm!
  • HOW MANY:  What size is the swarm ball – like a softball? basketball? beach ball?
  • HOW HIGH: How high off the ground are they?  Are they in a tree or bush?  Can the tree or shrub limb be cut if necessary?

Who to Call

The WCBA has divided the county into five response zones, each with its own coordinator.  Please contact the appropriate coordinator for your area, listed below:

Zone Zone Captain Phone
Zone 1 – Northern Wake Peter Kopcinski  (primary) 267-885-6858
   Keith Buchanan (secondary)  919-995-1639
Zone 2 – Western Wake Tom Krupa 984-464-1519
Zone 3 – Southern Wake Chris Hagwood
  Charles Heatherly 919-612-7338
Zone 4 – Eastern Wake Robin Drechsler 919-801-1703
Zone 5 – Raleigh, inside the beltline Barbara Burgess 571-213-3678

Donate to the NCSU Apiculture Lab

Help support research on beekeeping and bee health at NCSU led by Dr. David Tarpy by making a tax deductible donation.

A Chapter of the NCSBA

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