How to Catch a Swarm of Bees Safely

Dan Pollinators, This Land of Ours


Cathy Isom lets you know what is needed, as well as a simple trick for how to catch a swarm of bees.  That’s coming up on This Land of Ours. 

A swarm of bees is, typically, the “old” queen from a robust colony and about half the workers. So that big pile of bees hanging off something is several thousand ladies and a queen somewhere in the middle.

The big trick with catching is, ‘get the queen, you get all the girls.’ The simplest answer to “how to catch a swarm of bees” is this — get the queen and all the ladies in something you can safely transport them in back to your apiary.

More often than not, a nice cardboard box works well. Swarms are typically very docile so they are quite easy to handle. Still, it’s always recommended that you wear protective gear. Alternatively, you may hire a Honey Bee Removal Specialist to ensure that the bees are safely removed or relocated.


The challenge of swarm-catching typically comes from where the swarm is located.  Once you are able to locate the swarm of bees, put the box underneath them.  For example, if the bees are latched onto a tree branch, give the branch a firm, solid, shake. Most of the bees should fall right into the box.

You’ll know if you have captured the Queen if you attract most of the bees in the cluster. The Queen’s pheromone will attract most of the little workers, and you should see a few stragglers crawling in.

If you’re going to make a habit of swarm catching, you might want to invest in (or build) a “bee vacuum.”

I’m Cathy Isom…