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What can I do about honey bee swarms in my home?

With the domestic honeybee in a global health crisis, pesticides are even less of an acceptable option to dealing with swarms around the home. But when homeowners see a swarm they often call a pest control operator or reach for a pesticide container to first before considering other options. They should ask themselves -- what can I do to get rid of the bees without killing them?

More and more local beekeeper organizations are offering swarm removal as a public service. The Virginia State Beekeepers Association has a link to most local beekeeper organizations in Virginia. Many offer swarm removal through a link or page on their websites.


Here is a list of important information to have before contacting a beekeeper:

  1. What does the swarm look like? If the swarm has a “nest” then it is likely not honey bees but hornets or wasps especially if it is “papery” looking. A swarm of honey bees will cluster into a roughly round shape on an object like a tree branch.
  2. Where is the swarm (physical address)?
  3. Contact name and phone number.
  4. What has the swarm landed on? How high up is the swarm?
  5. Are there any special concerns in the area? (children, water hazards, bees in the house etc).

A beekeeper is a good source of information as to how to handle each situation with a swarm. Another source is your local Extension agent. For this information go to:

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Online Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training


Virginia Cooperative Extension offers a free online training and testing program (Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training, FACT)

Upon successful completion of this online training program, users meet the requirements of becoming a Virginia Certified Fertilizer Applicator as administered through the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). The link to the FACT website is and complete instructions on how to access the system, enroll in the training, complete the training and testing, and contact information for any questions are provided.

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