Bee trouble?

Honey bees are interested in flowers, not you. So, if you're having problems with individual or small groups of stinging insects, chances are, they're not honey bees.

At the bottom of this page is a list of member beekeepers that can come to your location to collect a colony of honey bees, but before you call, please read the information below to determine if they are honey bees. If they appear to be something else, and pose a threat, then we suggest you contact an exterminator.

Are the insects coming from a hole in the ground?
Typically, honey bees construct their hives high above the ground inside a cavity like a hollow tree. They do not build nests in the ground, so they're probably not honey bees. Eastern Yellowjackets (Vespula maculifrons, a type of wasp) live in colonies in the ground and can be very aggressive.
Are the insects coming from a grey nest hanging from a tree or under a roof?
Honey bees do not build visible nests under roof overhangs. Paper wasps (Polistes dominula) build grey-colored nests with cells that appear to be honeycomb in shape, usually under roof overhangs. So if you can see the nest, they're probably not honey bees.

Are the insects yellow and black?
Not all insects with yellow and black stripes are honey bees. Both yellowjackets and paper wasps may have a black and yellow pattern on their bodies, similar to honey bees, but honey bees and bumblebees have a coating of hair, while yellowjackets and paper wasps are hairless. So if the insects aren't fuzzy, they're probably not honey bees.

Are the insects yellow and black, fuzzy, and in a large mass in a tree or bush?
This is probably a swarm of honey bees. Honey bees swarm to increase their population, usually in the Spring. Do not panic. The swarms themselves are not inherently dangerous, the bees are not looking to attack, they're just looking for a new home. We have member beekeepers that can come to your location to collect a swarm of honey bees. There will be a charge for mileage and time required, so try to find a beekeeper on the list below who is close to you. Also, please understand that beekeeping is a hobby or very small business on the side, so many beekeepers do have other jobs, which can make it difficult to return your call immediately. But they will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Are the insects yellow and black, fuzzy, and you can't see a nest, but they are coming and going through a hole in a tree or wall?
This could be a colony of honey bees. If the entrance to the hive is up high in a tree and is not a nuisance (honey bees are not interested in stinging you, they're busy looking for flowers), then you could just leave them alone and enjoy the free pollination services they provide. But if the entrance is low or in the side of a house or building, then you will probably want them removed.

We have member beekeepers that can come to your location to collect a colony of honey bees. There may be a charge for mileage and time required, so try to find a beekeeper on the list below who is the closest to you. Also, please understand that beekeeping is a hobby or very small business on the side, so many beekeepers do have other jobs, which can make it difficult to return your call immediately. But they will get back to you as quickly as possible. Also, removing honey bees that have found a home inside your home, like in walls or in attics, can be very difficult because it may require some amount of demolition.

All of the names below can remove a swarm or a hive of bees outside of a home or structure.

Those names marked with a single asterisk (*) have the resources to remove bees from inside a structure.

Those names marked with a double asterisk (**) have the resources to remove bees from inside a structure, and are Licensed and Insured.

Queens
  • Hillcrest: Walter Blohm**, 718-380-0829, Licensed & Insured

Nassau County
  • Oceanside: Carl Flatow*, 516-510-6227, carlthebeekeeper@icloud.com, fully insured for bee related liability; also serves Rockville Center, Garden City, Old Westbury, Lynbrook, Hewlett, Woodmere, East Rockaway, Lawrence, Cedarhurst

Suffolk County
  • Amityville: Richard Meyer*, 917-681-1706, rjmeyer1423@aol.com
  • Babylon: Stephen Halliday, 631-922-0152, dochalliday28@msn.com
  • Bay Shore and Suffolk County: Donal Peterson**, 631-827-1810
  • Bay Shore: Tom Tyrell, info@tomshoneyandbees.com
  • Central Islip: Ernie Schwasnick, 631-582-3184
  • Dix Hills: Fred Munzer, 631-243-3512
  • East End of LI: Deborah Klughers*, 631-377-1943
  • East Setauket: Ben Moran*, 631-766-6704
  • East Hampton: Mica Marder**, 631-456-1752, marderart@hotmail.com, can travel from Hampton Bays to Montauk
  • Huntington: Richard Blohm**, 631-271-7812
  • Huntington and eastern Suffolk County: Andrew Hulley**, 631-561-9021
  • Manorville: Peter Bizzoso*, 631-874-4750
  • Medford: Dale Williams**, 631-475-8315, nordstar@optonline.net, southbayapiaries.com
  • Middle Island: Charles DiStefano*, 631-924-0619
  • Northport: Neal Wechsler*, 631-606-3330
  • Patchogue: Martin Kenna, 631-475-1713
  • Ridge: Jim Pfister, Kay-Jay's Farm & Apiary LLC, 631-903-5226, theorganichoneybee@yahoo.com
  • Rocky Point: John Hardecker*, 516-383-1583
  • Setauket Area: Wayne Vitale**, 516-680-3020
  • Smithtown: Moira Alexander, 631-265-8249
  • Stony Brook and Three Village Area: Christine Harran, 631-751-1441
  • Suffolk County: John Hardecker, 516-383-1583
  • Three Village Area: Bill O'Hern, 631-938-6BEE
  • Wading River: Roy Baillard, 631-375-0962
  • West Islip: Mary Ellen Cuiffo, 631-241-5470