Bee Removal FAQs
Honey bees prefer to find a hive location in a wall void, attic space , tree hollow, anywhere that provides an enclosed protected spot with a defensible entrance. In these situations, the decision to take action depends upon the circumstances. Here are some common questions asked by people who discover bees nesting in or on their property.
Will the bees cause any damage to my house?
Generally the answer is No but their are exceptions. I recommend that bees be removed if they are in your home structure. Honey bees will do no structural damage to a building. Unlike other pests, such as termites or carpenter bees, honey bees do not chew or eat much wood. Some people choose to leave the colony alone (NOT RECOMMENED) and have had bees inside a wall for many years. If you do decide to exterminate them, any quantities of honey left behind need to be removed to avoid the smell of decaying bees and the potential for fermenting and fungal growth and staining and destruction to the inside walls or ceilings. The honey and nest debris will also attract other bees, insect pests and rodents. Did I mention the smell of decaying bees , they smell similar to the smell of a dead decaying skunk.
When did they move in?
When a colony of honey bees splits by swarming, part of the old colony leaves to seek a new home. Swarming occurs mostly during the months of April and May. If you notice bees in your house at another time of year, especially summer, chances are great that they have been there since spring and you have just now noticed them.
Can I just plug up the hole or spray poison on the entrance and suffocate or kill them?
If the entrance hole is plugged or sprayed with insecticide, the bees will look for another exit. They may find another crack or opening or they could follow light and enter your living quarters through gaps in baseboard, electrical outlets or vents.
Can a beekeeper come and take out the bees?
Yes. removing the bees usually takes a lot of time and effort once they've moved within a wall. The value of the bees, alone, is not sufficient to justify the effort and expense of removing them.
Can the bees be trapped out or made to leave?
Trapping is sometimes done, but it is rarely practical and is time consuming and rarely results in a complete removal, usually the situation may still require a professional exterminator to follow up. Because it takes several weeks and doesn't remove 100% of the bees or their queen. We do not perform trap-outs.
Is it illegal to kill honey bees?
Pursue all removal alternatives before you attempt to have the bees killed. Is it ethically acceptable or safe? NO it is not so don't allow extermination, until all possible avenues have been ruled out. Although many pesticide labels include warnings to avoid spraying flowering plants or crops outdoors where honey bees are likely to be foraging for nectar and pollen (e.g., in a garden or planted field). In those situations, it is important to obey the labeling to help protect the bees, failure to obey the warning may place you in violation of federal and state laws. However, when bees invade a home, or a colony is a threat, you have the right to remove them (preferably) and as a last resort kill them if necessary.
Will spraying solve the problem?
A honey bee colony within a wall can be killed with an insecticide by a licensed pest control operator. Homeowners should not attempt this as it could result in serious harm or even death if you are stung to many times or are part of the 1-2% of the population who are extremely allergic to bee or wasp stings. If the bees have been in the wall for more than a few days, wax combs with brood and honey will be stored within the wall. The longer the colony has been there, the greater is the likelihood that large amounts comb and honey have accumulated. There may be as much as 40-100 pounds of honey within a wall if the colony is 1-2 years old. The remaining brood, honey, wax and propolis will either attract another swarm of bees, or eventually either overheat and melt spilling out the honey and attracting all types of vermin risking your health and the health of your family, if their are dead bees left behind the fliuds from their decaying bodies will mix with the honey and ferment a foul odor which will likely run down the wall or drip through the ceiling, so all bees and comb should be removed immediately after the bees are killed. Large quantities of decaying bees smell horrible Imagine a decaying skunk in the wall. This smell will also attract carpet beetles and mice which could, in turn, attack natural fibers materials (e.g., wool, fur, or silk) within the house.
How do I spray the nest?
Don't attempt to Kill Bees, CALL a professional Bee Removal Specialist, if the bees are aggressive you could be at risk to serious injury or death. Also if you spay insecticide it will force the bees to locate a new entrance you may end up with bees in your home.
I sprayed them anyway why didn't the spray kill them?
The insecticide must contact the colony to be effective. Sometimes the nest area is not close to the opening.
Are there other house-nesting insects that might be mistaken for honey bees?
Yes. Yellow jackets and hornets sometimes build a nest in a wall cavity, as do honey bees, and many people are not able to distinguish the two insects. The difference is important because yellow jackets do no build wax combs, do not store honey and build a paper nest, their colonies die out each year by spring and are therefore much easier to eradicate. Refer to the Identification Section.