Receive Text Notifications of Honeybee Swarms
The Edmonton Swarm Catchers list is a group of over one-hundred local beekeepers catching swarms around Edmonton. The list came about because I received more swarm calls than I could catch. If you’re an Edmonton area beekeeper, join the Edmonton Swarm Catchers list to receive real-time text notifications.
Please visit Report A Swarm Or Honeybee Colony if you’d like to report a honeybee swarm.
Joining the Edmonton Swarm Catchers List
Two Ways To Join
- Sign up here to receive text notifications of Edmonton area swarms, or
- Text @yegswarm2 to (438) 800-2319
When I receive a swarm call, I send photos and any relevant to the Edmonton swarm catching list. If you reply, I will send you the address and contact information of the person who reported the swarm. Swarms are sent to prepared and available beekeepers to catch and relocate the swarm promptly. When a beekeeper is on their way to the swarm, I notify the list that someone has claimed the swarm.
Responding To Honeybee Swarms
Confirming They Are Honeybees
When someone notices bees hanging from a branch or building, the swarm is often reported to me, the City, or Social Media. A cluster of tens of thousands of insects is a solid confirmation of honeybees. However, some calls are less obvious and turn out to be wasps or native bees. In this case, it’s worth asking a few questions to confirm they have honeybees. Here are my go-to questions:
- How many”bees” do you see?
- Do they have hair? Are they fuzzy, or are they smooth?
If they have short hair, and there are hundreds or thousands of them, there’s a good chance they’re honeybees. I send people a questionnaire I created for photographs and more confirming questions.
Swam Catching Equipment
Catching a swarm is similar to installing a package of bees, except that the package is in a tree or on the side of a building. The rest will usually follow if you can shake, scoop, or brush a large percentage of the bees into your hive. My swarm swarm-catching kit includes a bottom board, a box with frames, a lid, a ladder, some pruners, my PPE, a cardboard box, masking tape, and a ratchet strap.
Here’s an old (and shaky) video of a swarm I caught at my parents’ place. Notice how docile the honeybees are.
Honeybee swarms are relocated at no cost. Anyone performing a cutout may charge for their services. All pricing and transactions are between the beekeeper and the client.