Philadelphia Regional Beekeepers

We charge a flat rate of $500 plus tax per relocation. Factors such as hive height and size will add additional costs due to the danger and time incurred. We aslo have an initial consultation fee based on travel distance from Havertown. This consultation fee will be deducted from the flat rate if you choose to utilize our services. However, our costs are much lower compared to other beekeepers in the area.  WE WILL ASK IF YOU HAVE SPRAYED THE HIVE.  IF YOU HAVE, WE WILL NOT REMOVE THE HIVE AS IT WILL BE USELESS TO US.  THE RESULTS OF A SPRAYED HIVE ARE OBVIOUS ONCE IT IS EXPOSED.  DO NOT WASTE OUR TIME.

  • The best hive removals are those that include a successful queen caging.  The queen bee binds the hive together with a phermone attractant.  Furthermore, the queen's sole purpose is to produce eggs, thus ensuring the continuation of the hive.  When a hive builds up its numbers during the spring nectar flow, the queen can lay up to 1500 eggs a day!  So how can we find the queen amoungst thousands of other bees?  EXPERIENCE! PATIENCE!  And sometimes a little bit of luck!  

The queen amoung her attendants. Note her long abdomen.  

Yes.  We are fully insured.  Our paperwork is available upon request.

  • The structural element of a hive is its comb.  Worker bees secrete a waxy substance from their abdomens to produce these hexagonal structures in order to store nectar, unripened and capped honey, and pollen.  Most importantly, they serve as the nurseries for developing young.  A beekeeper must be able to recognize the differences between these types of comb as they are removed, framed, and placed appropriately in a transport hive.  

Aside from their dramatic appearance, swarms are easy to relocate.  They do not require much time and effort on the part of a beekeeper to transport to a new home.

However, an establish hive is a much different animal.  The homeowner may think that the beekeeper is getting free bees and honey, but the investment in time and effort is much more extensive than a swarm. A hive removal requires many hours (sometimes days) of comb removal from structural elements that must be exposed using power tools.  (ie walls, roofs, eves, or attics)  Specialized equipment must be contructed, maintained, and transported to the site. Lengthy searches for the queen require tedious examinations of all parts of the hive. Lastly, a successful relocation to the apiary is stressful on the hive.  A full year of rebuilding is needed in order to obtain a honey harvest.  

Are you insured?

Why do you have clients sign a contract?

How do you remove a hive?

How do you transport the comb?

Why is a swarm removal so low in cost, but an established hive removal is not?

More brood comb.  Note the covered brood on the right is flat.  These are developing worker bees, all female.  The covered brood on the right is domed. These are drones, all male.  Their sole role is to fertilize a virgin queen.  Drone brood is a sign of good hive health.

It's important for all our clients to understand what we do, including the risks that are involved.  Be aware that we are dealing with a natural system that can not be completely controlled.  Here is a copy of our contract.  

​Hive Removal

Comb containing capped young, also known as brood comb.

Aside from the physical exposure of the hive, an extensive working knowledge of bee biology is needed in order to make for a successful move.  We believe a well educated beekeeper is needed in order to accomplish any hive removal:


  • Bees live in a community.  They do not live in isolation.  A bee cut off from the hive for an extended period of time will die.  As such, it is important that we take our time to collect as many of the bees as possible.  Here is one of the tools we use in an effort to accompish that goal - the bee vac.  This video shows this tool on a swarm, but we use it in a similar manner with an established hive.

These are newly laid eggs.  It is important to collect comb with eggs.  If we can not find the queen, the workers will raise a new queen from one of these eggs.  A queen can only be raised from an egg less than three days old. The younger the egg, the better!

It is not uncommon to call an exterminator when a homeowner has a insect infestation. However, an experienced and ethical professional will defer to a beekeeper when the insect is identified as a honeybee for the following reasons:


  • The honeybee population is declining.  
  • If the hive is killed, the remaining honeycomb, which can contain several gallons of capped and uncapped honey, eventually may ferment and rot structural elements of a home.
  • Any remaining bees may rear a new queen and restart the hive at a later date.

Interestingly, we beekeepers are indebted to the humble rubber band.  We remove the comb gently and then place it in a frame held in place by one of these miracles of the office supply store.

Bee Removal Order and Agreement

Beekeeper: ________________________________________________________

Beekeeper: ________________________________________________________

Scope of Work:

I authorize the named beekeeper(s) to remove honey bees from my property.

I understand it may be necessary to remove sheetrock, shingles, trim, walls, wall coverings, flooring, floor coverings, and other parts of the structure or to move furnishings in order to remove the bees, comb, and other bee related matter.

INITIAL: ________

These holes may be in the living area, the exterior, or the roof, depending on where the bees have colonized. I understand once the removal is complete, I will have to repair any of these access holes at my own cost. Neither the named beekeeper(s), nor any association(s) they belong to, will perform or be responsible for any repairs or damage due to the disassembly that occurs during their removal efforts.

INITIAL: ________

Repair to the property should be performed with the understanding that bees could return to the same location in the future and that all measures to prevent this should be communicated to the contractor used to repair the disassembly or damage done to the structure of the home.

INITIAL: ________

Fees:

I agree to pay a minimum of $375 and no more then $__________ for the services. Removal may require more than one visit across one or more days. I understand that this amount could change due to extenuating circumstances and that I will be notified prior to the extra work being performed.

INITIAL: ________

Hazards of Bee Stings

I understand some people may be moderately to severely allergic to bee stings. The reactions can vary from mild discomfort to a serious life threatening medical condition. More severe reactions include generalized swelling and itching, faintness, sweating, a pounding headache, stomach cramps or vomiting, a feeling of impending doom, a tight chest or choking sensation with swelling of the throat and in extreme cases anaphylactic shock with death resulting. I understand it is my responsibility to inform all surrounding neighbors so they can take the necessary precautions to protect their family, pets and livestock.

INITIAL: ________


Bee Removal Order and Agreement

Beekeeper Duties:

• Perform all removal work to the best of his/her ability

• Make every effort to cause the minimum amount of damage to the structure

• Remove as many bees and as much comb and honey as possible

• Advise property owner as to the best way to keep the bees from returning to the same area in the future

• Make a return trip to remove more bees if a significant number return

Beekeeper does not guarantee that all bees will be removed due to bees still being in the field collecting nectar and pollen. Most bees that return to find the colony removed will disperse within 24 to 48 hours.

INITIAL: ________

Property Owner Duties:

• Provide access to electricity and water, and accept sealed trash bags for disposal

HOLD HARMLESS AGREEMENT

I am fully aware of the risks involved and hazards connected with honey bees, and such process required to remove them from the premises. I also understand and agree to hold harmless bee removal contractors and those assisting with honey bee removal from any claims, suits, actions or causes of action arising out of any injury, accident, or any damages that may occur in the process of removing the honey bees.

Address of Bee Removal:

__________________________________________________________________

Property owner name: ______________________________________

Property owner phone: ______________________________________

Signature: ______________________________________

Date: ______________________________________



Bee Removal Order and Agreement

Recommended Procedure for Making Former Bee Space Inhospitable to Future Bees

1. Vacuum out the area, leaving nothing behind

2. Spray all surfaces with a solution of bleach and water, or other household cleanser, to remove the former odor of wax and honey

3. Optionally cover surfaces with an oil based paint or primer

4. Fill the vacant space with insulation

5. Close up the former entrance

Notes About the Straggler Bees

1. Some bees may return, but they will not survive more than a few days. Bees need a colony of thousands.

2. Bees without young or honey to protect are generally docile and not prone to sting unless provoked. The occasional bee in your home can be gently captured in a plastic cup, or on a sheet of paper and ushered outside. They want nothing to do with people or people food.

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BeeLeavers will relocate an established hive to our apiary in Havertown, Pennsylvania. We provide this service at a greatly reduced rate compared to other Philadelphia area beekeeping services as we are in the process increasing our hive numbers.  

Be aware that moving a hive is a destructive process.  Furthermore, hive size may be significant.  We will not know the extent of its dimensions until the process is complete.  A common misconception is that the hive is small due to the tiny entrance.  We recommend having a contractor on standby.  The following videos serve as examples of hive relocations by experienced beekeepers:

BeeLeavers