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What Are the Different Methods for Bee Removal?

Bee.
A queen bee surrounded by attendants. Moving the queen can encourage the rest of the bees to leave a location.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 21 July 2014
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There are several approaches which can be used for bee removal. It is important to verify that an infestation is indeed bees and not wasps or other insects, as the techniques used vary, depending on the species. If the identity of the pests is unclear, an exterminator may be able to identify the insects and provide appropriate removal advice. Entomologists can also provide identification and advice; university extensions are often a good resource for an entomologist who can identify insect pests.

In the case of bee removal, people have two basic options. One is humane bee removal, in which the bees are removed and relocated. The other is extermination of the bees. Extermination is generally not recommended because bees are beneficial insects, and extermination is usually not any easier than removal.

For humane bee removal, the best person to handle the removal is a beekeeper. There are also pest control companies which will perform this service. Often done in the evening, when the bees will be sluggish, the process involves moving the bees and their queen into a box and then removing the hive. Removing the hive, including all beeswax and honey, is important, because otherwise pests may be attracted to the area. Lingering bee pheromones can also attract a new set of bees.

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The bees will be moved to a new location and set up with a hive. Usually they settle in well, and if they do not, the survivors can be combined with other hives. The bees will go on to act as pollinators in their communities and they will produce honey which may have commercial value for the beekeeper.

If an exterminator is hired to handle bee removal or people opt to remove bees themselves by killing them, sprays can be used to kill the insects. The bees and their hive cannot be left in place, however. The hive needs to be removed and the area needs to be thoroughly cleaned to remove pest attractants, such as honey, which might draw in ants. It is also important to dispose of the hive properly.

Each method of bee removal will require some elbow grease to clean out the area occupied by the nest so that it will be less likely to be colonized again. It is also a good idea to seal the area well after the bees and their hive have been completely removed to make it difficult for insects to return.

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Discuss this Article

Emilski
Post 5

@Izzy78 - Those are good explanations of some of the more common species. It is very good to know what some of the common stinging insects are, because most of them have not intent to hurt humans unless they are bothered.

In the area where I live, we actually have a woman that raises bees and sells the honey locally to various stores. She has the hives in her forest, which makes the honey taste much sweeter than the stuff you can buy commercially.

Anyway, she always has ads in the newspaper during the summer advertising that she bee removal services for free. I think it benefits everyone for her to do this. The peoples' houses end up without the pests, and she gets to take them back with her and use them to make honey.

It is also nice since bees have been on the decline lately. They are actually very good insects. It is just unfortunate that a lot of people don't know how to act when they are present and end up getting stung.

Izzy78
Post 4

@kentuckycat - There are a lot of things that "ground bees" could be. There actually are some species that specifically live underground which are the true ground bees. They are black and orange compared to the yellow of most other bees. These bees are not very aggressive, and will not sting humans unless you disturb the nest (which is the case with the vast majority of bees). Bumble bees can also make their nests underground in same cases.

If what you are calling ground bees are black and yellow with smooth bodies rather than hairy ones, they may not be bees at all. Yellowjacket wasps often live near the ground and can be very aggressive is disturbed. Another ground-dwelling insect is the cicada killer wasp, which has a black and white body and feeds on cicadas like the name suggests. They are very beneficial insects and take a lot to sting a human. You usually have to step on them or their nest before they will attack.

kentuckycat
Post 3

@cardsfan27 - Good advice. I guess I have seen professionals use smoke to calm down the bees but never thought about doing it myself. We had a similar problem with honey bees where they were living underneath the siding of our house. At first, we weren't really sure there was even a nest there. Once we saw several of them all disappear in that area, we decided that's where the nest was.

I think getting rid of bee nests is much more difficult than with wasps. Any wasp nests I have ever found have been exposed. They are also relatively small to the point where I have been able to easily kill the whole colony with a can of insect killer. Since the bees were more hidden, it wasn't really possible to do.

Has anyone ever seen the large bees that live in the ground? How in the world are you supposed to get rid of those? I feel like burying the hole would just annoy them.

cardsfan27
Post 2

@krogosta63 - We had a similar problem to that once. The way we fixed it was just by getting some clear silicone caulk and filling in the space where we thought the bees were going through.

I think once the bees get to a spot inside of your walls, it becomes very difficult to do a bee hive removal. You pretty much just have to seal off the area to stop them from going back and forth.

One of the things we found was that sealing up the hole during the day was basically impossible, because the bees were constantly flying in and out. Even at night, once we would start to do anything near that area, we could hear them start buzzing around inside. What we finally ended up doing was just using smoke to sedate them. We took a metal bucket and filled it with some paper. If you just put some type of lid on the bucket with a small hole, it will control the smoke a little bit. Once the bees seemed to be settled down, we just filled up the hole with the caulk and didn't have any more problems.

kragosta63
Post 1

how do they get rid of bees that are in cement block? we think they are going through our outside light fixture.

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