Swarm Collectors Standards & Code of Ethics

As an Illawarra Beekeepers member and endorsed swarm collector you must follow the guidelines set out below.

Illawarra Beekeepers Members Swarm Collection Standard 2016 (v0.9)

Caller Details

Make a note of caller details including:

  • caller’s name
  • caller’s address or location of the swarm
  • caller’s phone number
  • identify the swarm is a honey bee swarm as opposed to a wasp nest etc.

Site and safety

Some safety factors to consider include:

  • what is the height of swarm above ground, in a tree, outside the branch, on wall etc
  • the size of the swarm (eg football, pineapple, kitchen garbage bin, large garbage bin)
  • proximity to electrical wires
  • in a wall cavity etc
  • any other safety concerns

Explanation of Collection

The swarm collector should explain to the caller

  • details about coming back at dusk to collect stragglers who may otherwise wander around lost and sting people
  • if any not for profit fees apply the swarm collector must at most only ask a fee to cover travel costs and time only (search for guidelines on ATO website at the link below)

Details of swarm collector to be given to caller

  • swarm collector name
  • swarm collector address
  • swarm collector phone number
  • swarm collector ABA membership number
  • swarm collector DPI Registration number as a beekeeper
  • anticipated day and time of collection
  • indemnity insurance through ABA provided that the conditions of swarm collection are met
  • follow up on how satisfied you are to club secretary or a member of the club committee

For Swarm Collectors

Code of Conduct for swarm collection through the ABA website

Code of conduct needs to be signed off before ABA sanctioned swarm collection and sent to ABA Secretary at secretary@beekeepers.asn.au


  1. the illawarra beekeepers must be happy with the level of experience and proven training done by the swarm collector as assessed by a senior beekeeper
  2. the swarm collector must provide his/her name, address, contact telephone number, and ABA membership number, to the person wanting a swarm removed and also the feedback line phone number for quality control follow up
  3. swarm collector must explain costs involved and any swarms collected through  ABA are not for profit ie reasonable petrol, equipment and traveling time costs.  Costs for petrol are based on the ATO (see guidelines on ATO website at link below)
  4. swarm collector should provide date and time for prospective collection
  5. the swarm collector should conduct themselves in a professional manner and should maintain a professional distance
  6. the swarm collector should allay general fears of the public and inform the public and represent beekeepers well. This means informing the public about not spraying the bees with water, pesticide or smoke etc. and an individual of the general public should leave the swarm undisturbed and call on an experienced registered beekeeper
  7. the swarm collector should also explain that the best time to collect swarms is at dusk to prevent stragglers hanging around stinging people the next day when the bees may become lost
  8. the swarm collector should not damage property in the process of catching swarms. If the swarm is not able to be collected (eg. in a tree hollow or wall cavity) the swarm collector must not interfere with the swarm and must advise the client to call a pest controller. If the swarm collector proceeds to damage any property, be aware that the swarm collector may not be covered by the ABA insurance. This is the swarm collector’s own liability and the swarm collector is at risk of being sued

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