Eco-Friendly Bee Removal

by Chris Bjorklund

You’ve probably heard that honey bee colonies have been in decline for the past few years. This is bad news, and not just for the bees, since they’re the primary pollinators of many of our food crops. Still, as much as honey bees do for us, you probably don’t want a swarm of them setting up a colony in or near your home. If that happens, you may be able to get expert help from a local beekeeper, who can capture or “extract” the bees without harming them.

The Sonoma County Beekeepers’ Association ( offers instructions for dealing with a honey bee swarm on your property. At the top of their list: Don’t spray the bees with anything, especially pesticide. Once you do that, beekeepers can’t use them. And before calling a beekeeper, check the SCBA’s online photo gallery to make sure you’re dealing with honey bees. For other types of bees and wasps, you may have to contact a pest control professional rather than a beekeeper.