I've got bees in my tree! What do I do? Will the city remove them?
Generally, swarming bees do not need to be removed. A Honeybee colony contains only a single Queen, but in order to ensure new colonies can begin and the populations can grow, new Queen bees are produced each year. All the Queens except one will leave their parent colony, to fly off and establish their own colonies somewhere else. As they leave they take a large "entourage" of worker bees with them, and you may have seen this exciting dispersal flight as what is called a swarm", often in the warm days of early spring. This can be a pretty frightening thing to be in the middle of, as hundreds or thousands of bees suddenly are flying around and past you as you are walking down the street.

However, at this time there is less chance of being stung, for the workers at this time are not defending anything in particular, and have no instinct to attack you, unless one gets trapped in your clothes and feels personally threatened. The swarms stop each day to rest, usually as a huge ball of bees with the Queen somewhere in the midst of all the workers, and from this blob workers will venture off in different directions looking for an appropriate cavity to offer their Queen as a potential new home.

The best course of action, should you one day discover a football-sized clump of bees in a tree in your front yard, or perhaps on the fence, is.....nothing, for in a day or so the bees will leave again. The tree limb and fence are not good nest sites, so all they are doing is hanging out while the workers look for a better place. Basically, Honey Bees are defensive and will attack only something that is threatening their colony. Swarms first move to a temporary site such as a tree branch.

The swarm will usually remain here for about 24 to 48 hours until permanent quarters are located, and then move on. Permanent quarters may consist of a bee hive, hollow tree, hollow wall, attics, etc., typically some place which is sheltered from the weather.

Show All Answers

1. What are street trees?
2. Who owns and maintains street trees?
3. What is the right-of-way?
4. How do I know if a tree is a city-owned tree?
5. What maintenance does the city provide for street trees?
6. What trees does Urban Forestry work on?
7. What is the property owners responsibility for maintaining city street trees?
8. Who do I call if a tree needs work?
9. I've got bees in my tree! What do I do? Will the city remove them?
10. There is mistletoe or ivy in my tree , will the forestry crew remove it?
11. My street tree is diseased, dripping sap, or infested with insects
12. Why doesn’t someone rake the leaves from street trees?
13. Why are street trees important?