Swarm Hotline

(503) 444-8446

(Or report online)

Honey Bee SwarmSwarming is a natural behavior of honey bees. If they become so strong and productive that they outgrow their home, some of them will depart with the queen and look for a new home, and the group left behind will raise a new queen.

While they may look intimidating, especially when they land or take-off, honey bee swarms are quite docile. They have no home to guard, so they don’t get defensive. Their only objective is to find and move into a new place to live.

A swarm looks like a big football or basketball-sized cluster of bees hanging on to whatever surface they have come to rest on as they move across the landscape scouting out a new home. This can be anything from a tree branch, a park bench, a wall, or even a bicycle.

If you have found a swarm and would like a beekeeper to come and get it please call the hotline above or report it online. Members of the Portland Urban Beekeepers use swarms to populate their beehives and practice no-kill swarm collection.

When reporting a swarm please be prepared to answer such questions as the size of the cluster, what the cluster is resting on, how high off the ground it is, how long it’s been there, etc.

Swarm List Registration

If you are a current paid member of PUB you can register on our swarm list and be notified when there is a swarm in your area. Please familiarize yourself with the PUB Swarm List Etiquette document. If you don’t want to catch a swarm yourself but would like to receive one, or if you want to learn how to catch a swarm, you can also register on the list as a recipient or a mentee. You will then be notified when someone has caught a swarm for you, or if someone is catching a swarm near you, and you can join in to help or watch.