Southerns Beekeeping Association

Registered Beekeepers for Bee Removals

The following association members can be contacted for bee removals or emergencies within the Johannesburg and Pretoria areas. For other areas and regions please refer to the Links page for details of other Beekeeping Associations in the other Provinces throughout South Africa. For Bee Removals in the Western Cape refer to www.apiculture.co.za – contact Dean Lennox.

For emergency situations those marked with an * can be contacted. Emergency services may carry premium rates especially if life threatening situations for humans and pets prevail.

Person to Contact Contact Numbers General Areas
Hans Steenpoorte * 083 647 6232
083 448 4851
011 312 9422
Midrand, Sandton, Randburg, Northern Suburbs
Andrew Etzinger 082 655 3463 Randburg / Sandton.
Manfred Leitner * 083 263 1311
(011) 706 3653
Midrand, Sandton, Randburg, Greater Johannesburg + CBD, other areas by special arrangement.
Rob Krul * 082 901 8649
(012) 661 5966
Midrand, Pretoria & Suburbs
Grant Arrand 083 652 0760 Johannesburg & surrounding Suburbs, Country Districts
Dr Fanie Booysen 082 332 8007
(012) 993 0960
Pretoria and surrounds
Ant Lawrence * 072 765 2603 Johannesburg & surrounding Suburbs
Len Boucher 0812095384 or 0716405484 Greater Johannesburg, Northern Suburbs, Greater Pretoria and Eastern Suburbs.

Bee Removals & Emergencies

The swarming season in South Africa lasts generally from September through to February. A number of qualified Southerns Beekeepers are available to remove migratory and feral swarms professionally and humanely (where possible).

Note, that in terms of the Agricultural Pests Act any person who keeps bees or deals with bees in any way is required by law to be registered with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, (DAFF). Ensure that the person contracted to remove your feral swarm is a Registered Beekeeper with a DAFF number. A number of Pest Control companies claim to be able to remove bees but generally these colonies are destroyed with gas or fumigants.

Not all swarms can be humanely removed and relocated. For example a swarm which has been lodged in a chimney for a number of seasons and has been allowed to grow may be difficult if not impossible to remove. It is always advisable to remove swarms as early as possible before they have had an opportunity to settle and become protective of their comfortable home.

Please note that bee removals are generally done in the evening especially with settled (as opposed to migratory) swarms. During the day up to a third of the bees in the colony are out foraging so it does not make sense to try and remove the swarm during the day. Also it is potentially dangerous to do so as swarms are very protective of their home and may become aggressive. Bee Removers who remove swarms during the day, other than migratory swarms, are generally acting without regard to the bees’ interests and more than likely will destroy the hive as the bees will not be able to resettle and their infrastructure as a working family may be irretrievably disrupted. This is why most of our members who remove swarms will do so in the cool of the evening when it is possible to calm the bees and move them into a catch box for later translocation into a proper bee hive.

However if an experienced beekeeper does the bee removals during the day and leaves the bee box that he has transferred the brood into, in so doing, encouraging the bees to settle into their new home and then remove the box at night, once all the bees have settled in to the new hive, then all the members of the bee community will be collected. This minimises the problem of disrupting the colony’s integrity and the possibility of leaving large numbers of homeless bees behind which can cause a problem.

All beekeepers who offer this service generally charge a fee for removing bees. Some people may question this as they believe they are giving the beekeeper a new swarm of bees to add to his “collection”. Whilst most beekeepers will endeavor to save the swarm removed there are costs involved in doing so. Firstly there is a specific skill involved in removing a swarm as well as the danger factor. An in-experienced person should never try and remove or disrupt a swarm of bees. They are dangerous and lack of knowledge and expertise can lead to fatal consequences for persons and pets. Secondly, providing this service is time consuming and travelling today involves transport costs. Furthermore it costs over R1000 to purchase a new hive for a colony of bees and by choosing the right bee remover your bees will be guaranteed a warm and comfortable home within a managed environment.

Bee Removals Fee

Bee Removal Fees will vary depending on distance, difficulty, consumables used and number of trips required to complete the job. Normally the beekeeper does not repair ceilings, roofs, airbricks etc if it is necessary to remove, break out or cut. Repairs are the responsibility of the client. The following is a general guideline with respect to costs.

SERVICE COST
Call out and / or assessment fee R180.00
Travel costs per km R3.55
Colony hanging in easily accessible position R750.00
Colony hanging in a difficult or dangerous position R850.00 – R1200.00
Air brick ground level R500.00
Air brick above windows R750.00
Bees in roof or chimney (depending on who repairs what and accessibility) R1000.00 and upwards