PMBA Swarm Rescue Hotline



Before calling to report a swarm, review the below "Is It A Honey Bee Swarm?"

  • PMBA cannot offer structural removals of established honeybee nests (such as siding or chimneys). 
  • PMBA beekeepers do not remove or exterminate bumblebee, wasp, or hornet nests.
  • We currently have no beekeepers that can respond to a swarm at a height greater than 26 feet from the ground.

For fastest response, find your area's swarm dispatch extension by clicking here for an online directory.

Here is the message you will receive when connecting to the PDX BEEK swarm hotline:

You have reached the Portland Metro Beekeepers Swarm Hotline. If you know the extension for your swarm location from our website, you may dial that number followed by the # key to be connected to a dispatcher. Otherwise, please listen carefully to the following menu options:

If you don't know the extension for the location of the swarm, press 8 # to reach our city name directory. Once there, press the first three letters of the city name followed by pound to connect to a local beekeeper in that area.

If no beekeeper is available for dispatch, you’ll be forwarded to a voicemail system, where you may leave your name, phone number, and swarm location at the tone, and then hang up.

Portland Metro Beekeepers are unable to assist with bees living in a structure, such as a tree, siding, or chimney.

For North Portland, press 721 #.

For Northeast Portland, press 722 #.

For Northwest Portland, press 723 #.

For Southeast Portland, press 724 #.

For Southwest Portland, press 725 #.

For the Vancouver area, press 735 #.

If your swarm is in a different area, press 8 # to be taken to our city name directory.

For any other assistance, press 0#.

For general questions, or to report issues with the swarm hotline, please dial 0 #.

Is it a Honey bee Swarm?

Honey bee swarms form large clusters, usually on trees or shrubs but can be just about anywhere. While it looks intimidating, they are usually very docile but it is still best to maintain your distance and leave them alone. They will usually be present for a couple hours to a few days and then leave to start a new home. In the Portland Metro area, they typically occur from April through June. If you see a swarm, do not attempt to kill or spray them - call the new Swarm Hotline to dispatch a beekeeper to safely relocate them, for free!


This is a classic honey bee swarm on a branch!


Another beautiful honey bee swarm.


So many lovely swarms!


The top photo is a small swarm cluster. The bottom photo is a close-up of a honeybee. A swarm is only when the honeybees are clustered.


These are friendly bumblebees, but not a swarm or a honey bee. Bumblebees often nest in or near the ground, or small empty cavities such as birdhouses.


These are not honey bees, but rather Western Yellow Jackets. They typically live underground with a small opening to the colony.  This is not a swarm. Honey bees do not live in the ground.


This is a bald faced hornet and their paper nests.  This is most definitely NOT a honey bee swarm.


These are paper wasp nests, not honeybees. These are very common in Oregon.


While these are honey bees, this is not a swarm. Bees coming and going from siding, chimneys, eves, a tree cavity, etc. have taken up residence and require enhanced intervention and special training to remove safely. Please visit the ORSBA website for a list of beekeepers that can handle structural removals.

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