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Honeybee Nests and Swarms

The District does not provide service for honeybees.

A bee swarm will look like a cluster of bees hanging from a branch or other object. These bees have left their colony and are looking for a new home. They will move on in a few hours to a few days, so you can simply let them leave on their own if it’s safe to do so. If you want them removed, contact the San Mateo Beekeepers’ Guild; there is likely a local beekeeper that will provide them with a home.

An established hive will look like many bees coming and going from the same place. It may be a hole , a tree cavity, or an opening in a structure. Don’t try to remove the hive yourself! Contact a professional – they’re often listed in the phone book under ‘bee keeping’.

You can prevent a swarm from taking up residence on your property by ‘bee-proofing’. Caulk or screen small openings to your structures, and look for things like upside-down flower pots, open electrical boxes, discarded appliances, and other areas where there may be a small hole leading to a larger cavity.

If you need a honeybee hive removed, contact the Beekeepers’ Guild of San Mateo County or a private pest control operator.


Page last reviewed: June 17, 2021

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