Free Honey Bee Swarm Collection
Call 217-638-7891 for free swarm collection, if we are not available to collect the swarm we will refer you to an experienced bee keeper who can. A link to a swarm collectors list is also at the bottom of this web page.
April and May (and sometimes as early as the end of March - depending on the Winter and Spring) usually mark the beginning of swarm season in our area and swarm season can last until the end of July in some years.
Honey Bee swarms are simply part of the reproductive cycle of the honey bee colony and an important part of putting food on our tables.
Before a colony swarms, the honey bees will have filled up on honey from their stores and will have slimmed the normally rotund queen down so she can fly.
Approximately up to ½ of the colony and the old queen will leave the old colony in search of a new home which would normally be one to three miles from the old one. They will temporarily gather (cluster) at a “muster” point. Before the swarm clusters at the “muster” point, the sky will be filled with a rotating cloud of bees. The cloud may be an inherent defense perimeter around the queen until she lands at a muster point after which time the honey bees will form a protective cluster around the queen.
Because the bees are so full of honey they will be relatively passive and less likely to sting.
They will hang in a cluster at the “muster point” which is usually on a tree branch, while they send out scout bees to look for a new home. However, the swarms have been known to muster (gather) on sides of a building, a parked car, a fire hydrant, a bush, a fence slat or fence post.
Once the "new" home has been found they'll be off again, this time to their permanent location.
If they have been searching for a home for several days, and if because of the weather, food stores are depleted, the bee swarm may lose some of its passivity and be more prone to sting so always treat a honey bee swarm with respect.
If a honey bee swarm lands in a tree in your yard, or on a fence or the side of your house, you can call 217-638-7891. Or you can review the swarm collector list at the below link and call the person on the list closest to you.
Prairie State Beekeepers Swarm Collector List