How to Get Rid of Bees
“How do I get rid of bees ” is a question many ask when honey bees show up in the wrong places. As a bee removal specialist, I’m asked how to get rid of bees thousands of times each year!
This how to article targets the most common unwanted places beehives move into and solutions for how to get rid of them. It also briefly explains why the bees choose that spot, expels myths of why you got bees, and explains how to keep from getting bees it in the future.
Are bees dangerous?
Why did I get bees, What’s going on?
Can I find a beekeeper for free bee removal?
Bees in my house or up against the window
Dead bees on the outside of my house
How to get rid of bees in my chimney
Bees in basement
How to get rid of bees in walls, attics, under eaves, fence, jacuzzi, or shed floor hot!
Get rid of bees in ground
How to get rid of bees on a humming bird feeder
How to get rid of honeybees in a pond, waterfall or pool
Prices and Cost of Bee Removal (structural bee removal)
Do it yourself, removing the honey and bees in the wall
Are bees dangerous?
While Africanized bees have been largely over-hyped by media, these bees and European bees can be dangerous. Recently we’ve been involved with a greater amount of feral bee activity than normal. During this time, we performed bee removal on a shed where two lambs were living and were attacked by the honeybees living in the wall, one made it and the other didn’t. Later that day, we performed a bee removal on a gas station lamp post. The pole was bumped by a car backing up and the bees swarmed out and into the woman’s car window, stinging her and others nearby. A week later we preformed bee removal from a tree where a man while trimming his hedge, was attacked by bees and stung 20 times before making it from his yard to his house.
Last week I performed a bee removal from an owl box where a horse was attacked by the bees which in the past hadn’t shown any signs of aggressive behavior. Yesterday we performed bee removal for a man whose son and dog were attacked while playing basketball in the front yard. His son was fine, but the dog didn’t do as well. The normal kill ratio for a human being is 10 stings per pound; so about 1,800 stings would typically kill someone weighing 180 lbs. A typical bee hive has on average 10,000 to 40,000 bees.
Why did I get bees, What’s going on?
If you’re reading this you most likely have bees or scout bees on your property. This is caused when a beehive gets to large and the workers can’t communicate as easily with the queen. Some of the bees will begin building a handful of queen cells on the honeycomb. When the queen lays the larvae inside the cells, the worker bees will feed these larvae a special protein rich diet termed ‘royal jelly’. The first new queen to emerge typically will stay will stay with the hive.
The hive splits. The older queen from the established hive, leaves the established hive taking half the bees with her. This is called a swarm; a beehive in transition of moving to a new home. Typically the swarm will rest on a bush or a tree for a few days as they search for what they feel is a suitable home. When travelling as a swarm, the bees will move in a circular swarming motion towards their destination. It is not common to see this phenomenon of bees in migration, though it does happen more in the spring. In this state the bees carry honey with them and are non-aggressive as they have no home to protect. It may also happen in the fall if the hive feels it does not have enough honey to support all the bees; however the swarm is less likely to survive than a swarm in spring.
Bees scouting for a new home. In either case, before bees choose a destination they send out scout parties to different locations looking for a suitable home. A party of scout bees is typically 5 to 75 bees. If the bees like the location, more bees will come to scout. Often this is happening without the knowledge of homeowners or management.
Can I find a beekeeper for free bee removal?
In the 80′s and before, it was a bit easier to find beekeepers that would collect bees for free. Now, with Africanized bees, diseases, time restraints, liabilities, and the difficulty of the location of where the bees build their nest, it’s not as easy to find someone who wants to remove your bees for free. It takes a large amount of time and effort to remove a beehive if it’s in a house or structure, not to mention any repair work if needed. It also takes time to turn that beehive into a productive, healthy bee colony.
If you’re trying to get rid of bees and you live in the central & upper regions of the United States, and the bees are on a bush, tree, or outside in an easy to capture location, it’s not as difficult to find a beekeeper that may remove bees for free, as long as the beekeeper is close by and the bees are ‘easily’ accessible. If you’re trying to get rid of bees in California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, or Florida and other States that have reported Africanized Bees, chances are no one will collect your bees for free. This map shows africanized honeybee (AHB) movement as reported by counties & states in the US. It’s very uncommon to find someone who will collect bees for free when they are in the structure because of the difficulties involved. If you live in the US or Canada and you have bee questions feel free to call the helpline listed above.
Get Rid of Bees in Ground
Very seldom do honeybees build nests in ground, more common types include: ground bees, yellow jackets, and bumblebees. Ground bees are an important part of organic pest control as well as pollination. Except for honeybees, most if not all of these ground bees will abandon their nests late in Fall season, however they often return the next season unless the active nest is dug up and removed. Some common nuisances ground bees may cause are when the land or area needs to be tended to but the bees are delaying or frustrating the work from happening. Another concern is that of people being stung.
At times people want to know how to kill or remove the bees themselves. Removing bees in the ground can be dangerous, but pale in comparison to the knowledge and experience required to effectively remove honeybees in a structure. Here are some do’s and don’ts to take into consideration when killing, exterminating or removing ground bees. As always there is no one right way. Typically the best time to kill bees, or to remove and relocate ground bees is very early morning or late in evening, just after sunset when all or most of the bees have returned and are in the ground. Using gasoline to exterminate or kill the bees is not the most recommended solution. Using a dust or an aerosol insecticide that is labeled for the ground bee species is normally a better choice. They can also be removed without chemicals but normally with proper protective gear.
Prior to application have something ready to plug the hole, often ground bees have more than one hole or entrance, if you are trying to kill the wasps or bees in the ground, make sure you inspect prior to applying. The best time to observation is between 10 am and 3 pm when it’s not raining and it’s not extremely windy.
How to Get Rid of Bees on Humming Bird Feeders
Humming bird feeders may be taken over by honey bees in dry states or in times of heat. Bees in this state are non aggressive as they are away from home, meaning they won’t be protective or defensive about the feeder and location. If you continued adding just water only to the feeder at night when needed, there’s a good chance the bees would keep coming around especially during the warm dry season. If you you’d like to get rid of bees, at evening or early morning remove the feeder for perhaps a week or let it run dry for a week. This will break the bee’s flight pattern and force them to find a new water source.
When hanging the feeder back up, humming birds may take some time to re-discover it. A humming bird feeder, excessive flowers, or blossoming trees, do not in any way invite or cause beehives to move onto your property. If this happens it’s entirely unrelated. Honeybees on a humming bird feeder behave non aggressive to passerby’s. If you live in the US or Canada you may call the toll free bee helpline at the top of the page or request call back service here.
How to Get Rid of Honeybees in My Pond, Waterfall or Pool
In warm dry seasons of the year you may notice heavy bee activity around the pool, bees at your fountain, bees in a pond, or another water source, in some cases this can become a problem. Honey bees need water to make honey and survive, bees prefer natural peaceful locations, but in hot months were some of these resources have dried up bees will seek out other sources. If you need to get rid of honey bees in this case, you have a few choices. One option for getting rid of bees is to temporarily drain or empty the water, forcing the bees to find a new location and breaking their flight pattern. After a two weeks or so, refill or turn the water back on.
If you cannot empty water in the pool, fountain, pond, or other source, you may choose to add vinegar to it. If it is a small body of water and there are no fish or animals living in it, adding vinegar should help to get rid of the bees. This will cause a disagreeable taste and encourage the honeybees once again to find a new water source.
If you cannot drain the water source, and if adding vinegar to the water, pool, pond, or other location is not an option, you can contact us for other options. Another way though not often used, is in tracking and removing and relocate bee nest that has taking over your water source. In the US and Canada call our help line at the top of the page or request service here.
Loud buzzing on my tree!
Bees covering an entire tree or shrubbery uniformly accompanied by loud buzzing is common in autumn with some late-blooming trees as most of the neighboring blossoms have come and gone. Although this is great and final source for honeybees in preparation for perhaps a long winter, it can look and feel quite intimidating to a home owner. If the bees are all over the blossoms of the tree uniformly, this is not a cause for alarm. Bees in this situation are non-aggressive, and are simply there to collect pollen and nectar. This is also a temporary phase that shouldn’t last but perhaps a few more weeks. Soon the blossoms will fall and the bees will have collected their pollen. It is generally recommended to wait it out at this point. Although loud and intimidating, this is not the bee’s domain and they have no interest in defending or protecting it. If you are still uncomfortable, a long term solution for getting rid of bees may be to trim back the tree after the activity has subsided or prior to the following season so there are not as many blossoms.
How to Get Rid of a Swarm of Bees on My Tree
Bees can make hives on any size tree
When a beehive gets too large, the hive splits in two. Half of the colony (4,000-6,000 bees) moves out, traveling as a swarm. While searching for their new home bees may rest on a bush or tree temporarily. A bee swarm in this phase is usually about the size of a football or basket ball and beard shaped. If the swarm of bees is new, they will also appear to be friendly (all bees are-non aggressive during this phase, whether Africanized or not). This is because they have no home to defend yet and there is no honey or young to protect. Many suggest that usually the best way to get rid of these bees is to leave them alone, perhaps about 90% of the time the bees will move along in 4 days or less. If you bother or disrupt the bees it may frustrate their plans and cause them to stay longer.
If you are trying to get rid of an established hive on a tree or bush and you live in a non-africanized honeybee removal area you may look for a beekeeper. If close by, the beekeeper may remove them free of charge. If you live in a county where africanized bees exist, you can pay to have them removed alive as opposed to extermination. Exterminators get rid of the bees but often charge more than a beekeeper or bee removal company that removes the bees alive. If you try to get rid of the bees yourself, notify people nearby, make sure no people or pets are close by, plan your escape route, and expect to be stung! If the bee hive is established, it is considered unwise to attempt to remove it yourself.
Getting Rid of Bees in Tree Trunks or Hollows
Honeybees in tree trunks or hollows often cause recurring problems. Getting rid of the bees yourself may present a tremendous challenge. A beehive may consist of 5,000 to 20,000 bees. Normally the cost of buying a bee suit and other equipment, (in addition to the time you take to learn what to do and how to do it) far exceeds the cost of paying a beekeeper or a bee removal specialist. For help cal our help line at the top of this page. You can have the bees removed alive. This method called a trap-out, if you live in areas were Africanized bees exist, like California, Texas, Florida, or in Phoenix AZ, or Las Vegas NV. It normally will cost more to remove the bees do to the extra time it takes. A live trap typically out consists of creating a cone shaped screen so that the thousands of bees can get out but can’t get back in, and having a bee box close by in efforts to encourage the hive to choose that as their new home. In this case, at some point a sheet brood n comb can be added to the box to increase the likeliness of the bees choosing that as their home.
After you get rid of the bees, the honey scent can linger indefinitely, attracting new bee colonies in search of a suitable home. To keep this from happening and get rid of the bees permanently, the tree hollow can be filled a filler. If the hollow is large you may choose to fill the trunk partially with some crumpled newspaper, and next fill it the rest of the way with perhaps expanding foam. Trees may have more than one opening the bees can use (even if it’s small or the bees have sealed it off with wax). Make sure to foam this area as well.
Lastly, it is quite common for a curious rodent or critter to chew through the foam, re-creating a hole for bees to move back in! To keep this from happening, prior to capping off the tree hollowing with expanding foam, a pre-cut galvanized non rusting screen can be placed on top of the foam. If you live in the US or Canada you may call the toll free bee helpline at the top of the page or request call back service here.
Note: Bee hives in trees should not necessarily be taken lightly, an associate I worked with for a short time while she was in law school, told me about how her grandfather was killed by bees that were living in a tree. At a young age he and his brother were driving with her grandfather on their way home (many years before she was born), when the tire got a flat; their vehicle swerved and hit a tree. From what she explained her grandfather got injured and didn’t make it out of the car.
Caution should be taken when bees are removed alive by beekeeper or killed by an exterminator, when in public areas or where there are pedestrians crossing encase an individual is allergic or encase the bees are being exterminated and become aggressive. If you live in the US or Canada, call the removal help line above, we also provide this help service for recurring bee problems.
How to Get Rid of Bees in a Bird House or Owl Box
It’s common to find bees that have set up shop in an owl box or in a bird house. From experience, if the bees are in a bird house, typically they tend to be less aggressive than bees in an owl box. Many people choose to have the entire bird house or owl box removed so they do not have to deal with the recurring problems from the pheromones of the bees in the house or box. If you would like to have the bees removed from the owl box or bird house, but would like to keep the bird house or owl box, feel free to give us a call on the bee removal hotline. In most owl boxes we’ve encountered, the bees are very protective, perhaps it is because they are up so high and are not use to seeing what would appear to be intruders. Bees in a bird house or owl box may pose a slightly more difficult problem in states that have Africanized bees.
Bees in My House or Up Against the Window
The misunderstanding can be that bees in the house came in through the window or an open door. What is most likely happening is that they are scout bees, or a beehive is attached to the eave, attic, or chimney of the house and that a few bees are getting inside by accident. Upon getting in the house they fly to the window trying to exit then in time the bee becomes tired and dies, you may notice little yellowish spots on the window.
Scout bees inspecting an attic, crawl space, or chimney, sometimes get lost and end up in the house. The bees go toward the light in the house expecting to get back outside, ending up in the house by accident. At this point the bees in the house are trapped; their immediate instinct is to go towards the light, which is often a window.
Another general misunderstanding is that the bees are trying to get inside the house, when in reality the bee is lost and trying to get out of the house. In any case, this often causes home owners to panic and pay high prices to have ‘emergency’ bee removal or bee extermination.
Addressing the issue right away however is very important. If the swarm moves into the structure, within one to three days, the new beehive will typically have up to two or three sheets of honeycomb inside the structure each about the size of your hand, and pheromone that could attract bees in the future if not properly removed. It may not be a bad thing that you are initially seeing bees in the house, as it allows you to be aware of the problem and address it promptly.
If you have been getting bees inside of your house for quite some time, or if you have come home from vacation to find dead bees up against your windowsill, you most likely have a hive that has already moved in and needs to be removed. If you inspect along the eaves of your house, near wherever you think the bees may have entered, (often it is the chimney or a bathroom vent, or the eave). Upon finding this location, it seldom if ever does you any good to spray water, wasp spray, light a fire, or any other method as this will typically aggravate the beehive and cause additional problems.
Often people will spray the bees or light a fire of some type and try to eradicate or solve the bee problem themselves. Then in the evening, when the bees go to sleep, they feel successful and believe they may have solved their problem, yet the bees have simply retired for the evening. Around 9 to 10 the next day, the bees will be active again assuming there is no rain and they have not been sealed in. Extreme heat or windy conditions will also keep the bees in. Another thing people do is try to board up or seal off the bees. This also creates additional long-term problems, and 95% of the time or more the bees dig through the stucco, wood, or drywall and end up inside the house or back outside. This also may cause honey to melt as the bees cannot temporarily circulate enough cool air through the structure leading to additional problems of recurring bees, pests, possible staining and structural damages. To speak directly to a bee removal expert in the US or Canada our bee removal helpline at the top of this page.
If you can tell where the bees are coming and going from outside, or optionally if you have a pair of binoculars, that you observe the hive to see whether there is yellow pollen sacs on the back of the returning bee’s legs. If there is pollen on their legs, there is a hive in the structure. At this point, the bees and the honeycomb will most likely need to be removed to solve your bee problem. To see if we service your area visit bee removal by county, or you may also request a quote or schedule service here.
If you do not have binoculars, a brave person that is comfortable with bees and perhaps not worried about getting stung, can get close enough to the bees and observe the returning bees. If the returning bees have yellow sacks on the back of their legs, most experts would tell you to not try to solve the problem yourself, there is likely a hive inside the structure with thousands of bees that you’ll want to have removed.
Dead Bees on the Outside of My House
Dead bees along the outside of your house or business can be signs that a hive is planning on moving in, or that bees are living in the wall, eave or attic.
There are several reasons why this may be happening, most of which involve a beehive living in or attached to the structure with typically a large hive inside (2,000 to 20,000 bees). Causes for dead bees outside of the house may include:
- A bee hive has recently split and a swarm has traveled and moved
into this location. Because of difficulties involved with migration process, old or weak bees die along the way or sometime shortly after the bees arrive.
- Another cause for dead bees outside of the house or structure is that the beehive may have a disease which is affecting them, causing a small percentage to die outside the house. Dead honeybees on the ground outside of a home almost never means the problem will solve itself.
- You might find dead bees near the front door of a house or the back porch. This is often caused by an automated porch light that comes on before dark, becoming brighter as the sun sets; iether the light is in the bees flight path on the way home, or the bees working nearby are drawn to it loosing there way home, they buzz around it tell exhausted then dying by the porch. This is typically a sign that there is a bee hive nearby but not nessasarily in your structure.
- A house typically will end up with a beehive every 30 years or so. However if there were a prior bee nest that where killed and left in the roof, wall or eave, it is common to see returning bees somtimes once a year. If a hive was killed in the past, it may be that a chemical was dusted or pumped into the void (perhaps from a earlier bee extermination) were the hive was killed and left in the structure. This pesticide may be the cause. For more information on bees near your house visit bees in wall. If you live in the US or Canada you may call the toll free bee helpline at the top of the page or request call back service here.
- An unlikely reason for the dead bees near the house or along the side of a structure may be caused by a recent fight with another beehive trying to steal honey. This happens more often in the winter when honey is scarce.
How to Get Rid of Bees in a Chimney
Regular Chimney Removal
Prior to moving into the chimney, bees will send out scouting parties of 10 to 100 bees in search of a new home and chimneys can appear to be just that. You may have noticed the bees first inside the house up against the window in a room near the chimney alive, dead, or lethargic. Scout bees inspecting a chimney may wander too far down the flu and gets lost inside the house. At this point it will fly to the brightest spot (the window) looking for a way out. To get rid of these bees (if they have not moved in yet) can be done with a fire though it is not recommended unless you are certain the hive has not arrived. Otherwise consider a preventative treatment around the chimney top, most pest sprays will work, bees that return to the hive after visiting your chimney report the bad conditions, and thus normally choosing a different location to start a home.
Structural Chimney Removal
I received call on Mother’s Day from a couple who, upon noticing bees coming from their chimney, were instructed by a friend that they could to get rid of bees by lighting a fire. Though this can work at times, it tends to only work if the hive has not already moved in. In their case bees had already moved into the chimney top. Upon lighting the fire, half the swarm fell down the chimney then flew into house. They ended up with a house full of bees and little black soot spots all over.
If the hive in the chimney is established, the last thing you want to do is light a fire. Upon doing so, bees will simply gather atop the chimney for as long as the fire lasts and or start building on the outside. In addition the heat from the fire will melt honey down the sides of your chimney causing a more permanent honey smell which can attract bees for many years to come creating ongoing be problems. If you have inherited a problem like this is scan be challenge to resolve. Lastly, the beehive is not always in the flu itself but sometimes in-between the flu and chimney wall. In this case lighting a fire will be pointless, though if kept hot enough it may also melt some honey. For help in the US or Canada call the help line at the top of the page.
Bees in my Basement
“How do I get rid of bees in my basement?” Those bees may actual by hornets, wasps or yellow jackets; An important part of solving the problem is generally to identify the bees or wasps. Next is locating the nest, sometimes honeybees take up residency in the basement, in either case you should be able to spot the activity from the outside, and see where the bees are going in and out. The nest may be inside the wall or ceiling of the basement.
If bees are getting into the basement by accident this can be due to a light attached to the ceiling which tends to glow partially into or above the ceiling void. In this case you will find more activity inside when the light in the basement is left on. If they are honeybees, removing the bee nest is important to solving the problem, otherwise you tend to end up with recurring bee problems in addition to attracting other critters.
In the case of honey bees most people will recommend calling a beekeeper to come remove the bees. To connect with a bee remover call the US bee removal hotline at the top of the page.
How to Get Rid of Bees in My Wall, Roof, Attic, Eaves, Fence, Jacuzzi, shed floor, etc..
Bee Removal from inside of your ceiling
Honeybees buzzing around a structure may likely be an indication of a beehive. If bees are in a very noticeable location and you think the problem may be brand new, there are some things you may do to get rid of the bees and deter them from moving in. If the bees appear to be floating around the structure as if inspecting it, they may just be a scouting party determining if this area would make a suitable home. If they are floating about the structure but are also going in and out of an opening and there doesn’t seem to be heavy traffic, watch the bees entering. If honeybees entering an opening have yellow sacs on the back of their legs, then there is going to be a beehive inside, typically with thousands of bees.
If there are no yellow pollen sacs on their legs, a hive likely just arrived within a day or two. In the case where bees are floating around, or if any small amount are entering a hole but have no yellow pollen sacs on their legs, and you cannot see a nest, to get rid of the honey bees you may choose to obtain a can of wasp or hornet spray and apply a single coat over the area in question. If after 15 minutes bee activity persists or worsens, there is most likely a beehive inside with thousands of bees call the help line at the top of this page. If however activity has ceased, than they would appear to have been what are called scout bees, and what could have been a quite costly dilemma has been avoided. If you try this, bookmark this page encase you need to return. Be careful to note that bees sleep in the evening through the very early morning. If you are re-inspecting during these times, but find no activity it could very well be that they are just inactive during this time period and you may have not gotten rid of bees in the wall or structure. Inspections are best made between 10am to 4pm. In the US or Canada call our hotline if you would like help. When it comes to honeybees, immediate attention is often much less frustrating, time consuming, and costly.
If bees have moved into a structure, getting rid of bees can prove most difficult to remedy. Occasionally, honey bees are found near vents or rain gutters. When a gutter actually goes into a wall or eave structure, bees may follow it and form a hive inside the vent, wall or under the roof of the building. Typically there is 20 to 80 lbs of honeycomb in these beehives.
Some a caller called explaining that her pest control provider got rid of her bee problem, but now honey is running down the wall of her house (this happens quite a bit). When addressing a customer’s bee problem, there are a series of questions I ask to find out what they already know and what may need to be explained. One question is ‘have you ever had bees before?’ To this she responded “Yes, he exterminated a hive of bees before in a different spot a year ago.” That can also be a common response. She was not informed to remove the honeycomb, or it was not brought home to her attention. Most homeowners leave it in the wall or attic because a exterminator or their pest control service provider doesn’t provide the option to remove the hive and honeycomb. Leaving a beehive and honey in the structure is asking for ongoing problems in the future. It’s kind of like a mechanic changing your oil and then saying “here’s your car back… oh by the way you’re going to need a new oil filter, I threw your old one out.” Obviously we wouldn’t just drive off without an oil filter because we know better. But if you didn’t know much about changing oil, you might say – ok, thanks for your help, and drive off.
An average beehive about 3 months old may have 20 to 40 pounds of honeycomb. During daytime bees keep the hive cool using their wings to circulate air through it. If you live in Arizona, Texas, Florida, Las Vegas, or California, it’s a hot day, and the bees have been killed or extracted, that honey will start melting very quickly. If not removed, that honey will melt down the wall or roof line, and permanently set into the structure. This often can cause staining or mildew. That area of the structure will likely create long term problems attracting rodents, moths and other insects, but more especially returning bees. If you’re wondering why you keep getting bees, this is the greatest culprit. To solve this recurring problem in such cases it is simply best to remove and clean out hives that exist and do some extra work suppressing the smell and bee proofing on eaves, vents, or wall voids and in some cases chimneys to keep bees from returning.
Ironically (whether they know it or not) by getting rid of your bees and not removing hive and honey, the pest company has created even more problems without you even knowing it! So much for “trust your home to the bee experts” adverts. Exterminators often tell home owners that the powdery chemical they use to kill bees will dry up the melting honey, solving your problem. Regrettably, it should be obvious that pest product designed to kill and keep bugs away is not going to dry up 10 to 50 lbs of honeycomb. On warm days this honey may show up running down the wall or in some other form. However, when the ‘expert’ is telling you this will solve the problem, it sure sounds better than shelling out additional money toward finding a contractor (with no bee removal experience) to open, remove, and repair a wall or roof, in which case the cost may end up being perhaps twice as much, with no warrantee on returning bees! If it can be helped honeybee hives should not be left in your structure. For questions or a quote in the US or Canada, call the helpline above. Bee Removal Testimonials
Stains from Melting Honey
Bee Removal from inside of stucco
Melting honey stains down house walls or roof lines is caused by an established beehive or one that has been exterminated, typically by a pest control company, and left in the structure. Some pest control companies have been sued by home owners damages and staining caused from not removing the beehive, perhaps they are unaware themselves of the problem. For this reason and other humanitarian reasons many pest control companies may not get rid of bees of perform any bee removal. Pest control companies that do exterminate honeybees, after exterminating honeybees, have the customer sign a waiver to release them from liability of a exhausted beehive in the home or structure and informing them of the need of getting rid of the leftover honey and dead bees. This information would be better served prior to exterminating the beehive, this way the home owner has time to way there options and solutions for opening the structure removing the hive of perhaps 100lbs of honey and then repairing and warranting the structure against future bee problems.
If you have melted honey running down the wall of your house, you either have an active bee hive and it’s a very hot day, or a bee hive has been exterminated and now the honey is melting. Honey can appear down the walls, or into the house or garage, sometimes years after the actual bee eradication. A bee hive or exhausted bee hive tends to attract returning bees every year, as well as rodents. Occasionally houses that are going up for sale on the market have had beehives killed but not removed. Selling or buying a house after exterminating a beehive without removal of the beehive can lead to legal problems and nearly always recurring bee problems for the new owners. These problems can be solved but it take time and money.
Some time ago I spoke with a home owner that had purchased and installed a new AC unit in a very nice home as the old one performed poorly. Once installed and running however, the AC still performed very poorly. Upon inspecting the attic they realized that rats had eaten holes through the air ducts. The rats likely were initially attracted by a beehive that was exterminated and left in the attic. For help with bee removal and relocation in the US & Canada or for additional questions call the help line at top of this page.
Bad smell coming from my wall
There are two common reasons a bad smell may occur where a beehive has been exterminated. Often the honey from the bee hive attracts rodents. Occasionally, bees will sting and kill the rodent that is trying to get the honey. If killed by the bees, this can cause a real bad smell that may hang around for a few months. If you are not sure where the smell is coming from, consider plug outlets or vents and tape over the plug outlets and the vents.
The second cause for the bad smell from the bees would be if a bees are killed and the hive left in the structure. Another would be if a home owner seals off the entrances, though this hardly ever kills the entire hive or nest. However, if a semi-effective kill has taken place, then most likely there are thousands of bees packed on top of each other, which can create this very foul or bad smell. This smell may last for several months while the bees decay.
Leaving a beehive in your wall is almost always the worst choice especially for home owners! Some be specialist should be willing to work something out with you. If you have questions or need help in the US or Canada, call the helpline above or request service here.
Prices and Cost of Bee Removal
How to find the right price or cost for bee removal in a structure can take a little research along with perhaps a few free quotes. This can be especially true if Africanized bees are new to your county or state. The dilemma, it seems no beekeepers want to collect your bees anymore, and you have trouble finding anyone that will remove the beehive and honeycomb. This can also be more difficult in areas were there is less population.
It can help to get 2 or 3 quotes on some pricing or free estimates. When calling around for information, if you don’t like what your hearing, just hang-up and call someone else. Bee removal companies are most busy between Jun and July. You may find some companies are reluctant to quote prices over the phone, however if you ask the cost 2 or 3 times in a row, you’ll likely get enough information. If you’re in a large metro area such as San Francisco, New York, or Los Angeles, companies may prefer to quote over the phone do to traffic. When shopping for bee removal prices, the lowest price may not always be the best choice. Additionally find out what the service includes ir any repair work or warrantee.
Consider sending a picture of the bees for a price quote. This is especially good if you live out of town or you’r not at the property. If your bees are non-structural, ie on a bush, tree, birdhouse etc the cost of removal may be minor. For honeybees that are in the structure (such as a wall, roof, or eave) it is important to remove the honeycomb and often repair and be proof which can factor into the cost or removal.
Killing a beehive and leaving a beehive in your wall is almost always the worst choice, especially if your the home owner! If your situation requires limited funds, find a remover that is willing to work something out with you. If you have questions or need help in the US or Canada, call our bee helpline at the top of this page. If the dead bees and the honeycomb are left in the wall, it can also attract rodents and other pests as well as recurring bee problems and structural staining. Generally to solve the problem effectively requires open the area to remove the bees along with the honeycomb. There may be several ways to approach removing the nest that could likely save on time and costs. Some beehives have up to a hundred pounds of honey. Honeybees can be extracted out of a structure and followed afterwards by suppression and exclusion work, but this process can be long and in the case of suppressing former hives, opening the structure is quicker and can be more effective.
For help with your bee problem you can also request a quote online. Occasionally bee removal is needed in areas that pose a hazard but there are limited funds to remove the bees. Most cities and counties do not provide bee removal services to homes or businesses, especially if the bees are attached to the structure. For bees on city or county property you should be able to contact the city or county to have the problem resolved. If your bee problem is on private property and you feel there is a special need, you may Contact us here.
Do it Yourself – Removing the Honey and Honeycomb
If the bees are attached to the house, trying to remove the honey and the bees yourself (if the hive has been killed) is possible but almost always a bad idea. It’s a very messy job and after you finish repairs it is very likely that bees will still be attracted to that structure. When bees smell an old hive in the structure they think anywhere on that structure is a good place to build a home. You can expect to get stung. After an effective eradication (if the bees are being killed) bees will continue to return to the hive from the fields, in addition to hundreds of new bees hatching daily. After a week, the bees from the original hive should be gone; however bees from other colonies smell the melting honey and may come to free-load. If you are trying to save a buck or if you know a handyman or carpenter that can help, have the bee man remove the honeycomb and leave your instructions on bee proofing it to the person doing the repairs.
If the honeycomb is not removed, it will typically attract bees back each year. If it has been sealed off and the bees can’t get in to the same spot, they will simply search around that structure until they find an additional opening. At times home owners buy homes that beehives have been killed in over and over without proper removal of the honeycomb. I remember once visiting a lady who had about 12 or more established beehives living in the structure of her home, she just gave up on removing them due to the prior honey left in the wall after exterminations were done. Normally a house or building should get bees every 20 or so years, but if the hive is not removed from the structure, bees tend to come back every year. There are solutions at this point but they can be costly.
How to kill bees or how to exterminate bees is an often sought by do it yourself bee removal methods. Most people aren’t going out of their way to try and kill bees but generally ‘how to kill bees’ is in reference to finding ways to get rid bees in or near the house.
Live removal is a preferred versus killing or exterminating honey bees. If you’re trying to kill ground bees view our how to kill ground bees page for tips. However do it yourself (DIY) methods to exterminate or kill bees in the wall, roof, attic, or chimney are very difficult and not recommended. The great majority of the time, trying to kill a honeybee hive creates bigger problems, and a lot of recurring bee problems down the road. If you have questions about killing bees or exterminating bees, use the form below to ask questions and get answers.
If the hive is brand new, and it is not in the structure, but you can see it perhaps the size of a football and they are honeybees, often bees will rest for a few days before moving on. There are some areas of the U.S. where instead of killing an established bee hive on a tree, a beekeeper may remove them at no cost, though it is more difficult to find.
In his younger years John grew up around his father’s beekeeping hobby and remembers riding along to pickup bee swarms. Later in college he stumbled into removing beehives from structures to earn money for college. Although he never finished his education, 90% of John’s employees are high school or college students. His interests in this field are to provide jobs for students, elevate/educate the bee removal industry, and save local bees and honey that would otherwise bee exterminated with pesticides. Although facing difficult challenges in the beginning, they now provide bee removal services in much of the US including California, Texas, Florida, Arizona, Denver Co, and Atlanta GA, Washington, and New York.
John is currently working toward developing an open source style business model that promotes the health and growth of small business and authentic online content. John can be contacted here John@AdkinsBees.com He is currently interested in non profit, open source, startup businesses solutions that have positive impacts.