Have a swarm of bees, and don’t know what to do?

In 2019, Jake established a bee-club based swarm team. In 2020, the program moved from a bee-club based team to a regional business based team, and in 2022 a wholly independent 501c3 team was formed, Apis Rescue. Jake is a member of the board of Apis Rescue, and remains active in swarm and colony recoveries. apisrescue.org

Apis Rescue, and the teams that formed it, have fielded hundreds of “bee trouble” calls over the intervening years.

Call the swarm team!

If you have a bee swarm in the greater Louisville area, call 502-233-2145 (or 502-BEE-2145), and leave a message.  Your message is immediately sent to all Apis Rescue team members, who can coordinate to provide the most timely response. We currently have members in: Jefferson, Oldham, Henry, Bullitt, Spencer, and Franklin counties in Kentucky, and multiple counties in southern Indiana.

What if bees are in a wall?

Removal of bees from structures is a more complicated issue. Kentucky state law necessitates “modifications to structures” for pest control reasons to be done by licensed pest control agencies, i.e. folks with a commercial sprayers license. This licensure is well outside the scope of beekeeping, and while the law was likely drafted to stop independent unlicensed terminate control, catches us too. In our region, Black Diamond Pest Control (812-944-0453) performs live-bee removals and placements, was trained by Jake, and has all the necessary licensure and insurances one would require. There are other removal companies too, but many are unlicensed, while many beekeepers still do removals as well. We occasionally make recommendations other than BD, for instance emergency removals, or events where the removal is voluntary, such as before a structure is demolished. Call the hotline for direction, 502-BEE-2145.

If you have a bee colony in a structure, there is a temptation to spray the colony instead of paying for a colony removal. Spraying is initially cheaper, but ends up more costly long term. While spraying can kill the colony, varied pests move in to feast on the pounds of dead bees, creating a whole new issue with maggots, slime, and stench! It also leaves the comb intact, which is a siren call to future bee colonies to move in. We receive several calls each year for hives that had been sprayed and killed before that repopulated. It is cheaper to pay for removal once, than recurring bee problems year-after-year.