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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, and sometimes even when bees are in the right 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.

Choose the topic below for info on how to get rid of bees:

Are bees dangerous?
Why did I get bees, What's going on?
Can I find a beekeeper for free bee removal?
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
Loud buzzing on my tree
How to get rid of a swarm of bees on my tree
Getting rid of bees in tree trunks
Bees in my bird house or owl box
Can you save africanized bees?
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 new!
How to get rid of bees in walls, attics, under eaves, fence, jacuzzi, or shed floor hot!
Dark mildew stains on my stucco from melting honey
Bad smell coming from my wall new!
Prices and Cost of Bee Removal (structural bee removal)
Do it yourself, removing the honey and bees in the wall
How to kill bees? new!
About the Author

Are bees dangerous?

africanized bee removal
We found this sign at one of jobs!

While Africanized bees have been largely overhyped by media, these bees and European bees can be dangerous. Recently we've been involved with a greater amount of Africanized bee activity than normal. During this time, we performed bee removal on a shed where a lamb was attacked and killed by bees. 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 repeatedly. A week later we preformed bee removal from a tree where a man was attacked by Africanized 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 Africanized bees and stung hundreds of times. 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 received 2000 stings and the man was told by the vet he had a 50/50 chance to live (which was a little too optimistic).

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’. Once a new baby queen emerges, this queen will kill the other unborn queens, or if two queens emerge at the same time they’ll fight to the death.

The hive splits. It is my understanding that at this point that the older queen from the established hive, leaves the newly born queen taking half the bees with her. This is called a swarm; a beehive in transition of moving to a new home. In this state the bees carry honey with them and are not aggressive as they have no home to protect. 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. 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 managment.

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 area 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 someone 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 (counties with Africanized Bees) chances are no one will collect your bees for free. Select this map for a larger view of the africanized honeybee (AHB) movement. It's very uncommon to find someone who will collect them for free when they are in the structure because of the difficulties involved.

Get Rid of Bees in Ground

Very seldom do honeybees build nests in ground, more common types of ground bees are yellow jackets and bumblebees. Except for honeybees, most if not all of these ground bees will abandon their nests late in Fall season, however many times bee species like yellow jackets, wasps, will often continue to return to the grounds unless the nest is dug up and removed. Ground bees are an important part of organic pest control as well as pollination. Some common nuisances ground bees may cause is when the land or area needs to be tended to but the bees in the ground are delaying or frustrating the work from happening. Another concern is that of people being stung. Sometimes the bees are accidentally discovered in parks, which can discourage a picnic, party, or other park event.

At times people want to know how to kill or remove the ground bees themselves. Removing bees in the ground can be dangerous, but actually pale in comparison to the knowledge and experience required to effectively remove bees 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 in the ground, 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. To kill the bees, people have dumped gasoline down or on the hole and then light it on fire, 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. After application have something ready to plug the hole, moist dirt is common.

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 observe ground bees is typically 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

At times humming bird feeders may be taken over by honey bees in dry states or in times of heat. This is a haven to the bees during this time. However if this becomes too great a problem for you, you have a couple options. You may remove and empty the feeder for a week or let it run dry for a bit. 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 will be non aggressive. One long-term option to getting rid of the bees is to simply let the hot months pass, once things cool down the bees will generally abandon this source.

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How to Get Rid of Honeybees in My Pond, Waterfall or Pool

In warm dry seasons of the year you may notice heavy honeybee activity around your pool or water sources, this can become very frustrating for a home owner. Honey bees need water to make honey, bees prefer natural peaceful locations, but in hot months were some of these resources have dried up bees will seek out other havens. If you need to get rid of honey bees in this case, you have a few choices. One option for getting rid of the bee coming to the swimming pool, or water source is to temporarily drain or empty the water source, forcing the bees to find a new location and breaking their flight pattern. After a week or two, 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, you may add vinegar to the water to get rid of the bees. This will cause a disagreeable taste and force the honeybees once again to find a new water source.

If you cannot drain the water source, and if adding vinegar to the water in the pool, pond, or other location is not an option, you can contact us, and we have options for getting rid of the bees. We track and remove the bee nest where the bees are located and are taking over your water source. You can Request Service Online, to date we've never failed in locating and removing bees that have taken over a water source.

Loud buzzing on my tree!

Bees covering an entire tree uniformly accompanied by loud buzzing may happen in autumn with some late-blooming trees as most of the flowers have come and gone. Although this is great for bees, it can be a nuisance, concern, and intimidating to a home owner. If the bees are all over the blossoms of the tree uniformly, this is not a cause for alarm. All 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 too long. Soon the blossoms will fall and the bees will have collected their pollen. There is not a lot you can do to get rid of the bees except 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 solution for getting rid of bees the next season is to trim back the tree so there are not as many blossoms. This can also be done in early morning or late evening if desired.

How to Get Rid of a Swarm of Bees on My Tree

bees in 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 often 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, 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

Bees in tree trunks or hollows often cause recurring problems. Getting rid of the bees yourself often presents a tremendous challenge. 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. Often these trees have been inhabited by bees off and on for many years. The typical remedy is to kill these bees, as extraction is more costly and time consuming. Either way the honey scent will 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 must be filled with some type of filler. One way is to fill the trunk partially with some crumpled newspaper, next fill it the rest of the way with expanding foam. Some old trees may have more than one opening, 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, pre-cut a galvanized non rusting screen to fit over the holes or openings and place it on top of the foam.

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 my experience, if the bees are in a bird house, typically they tend to be less aggressive than bees in an owl box, which also tend to be found up higher. 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 want 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.

Bees in a bird house or owl box may pose a slightly more difficult problem in states that have Africanized bees. Sometimes I get calls from home owners in these areas saying “how do I get rid of bees in my bird house?” or “I have bees in my owl box, can you get rid of them?” The dilemma in these areas is that the bees may in fact be Africanized, causing less people to want to collect them. It's of course wise to have proper licenses and insurance, in case you do run into africanized bees, especially in public areas.

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Can You Save Africanized bees?

Yes, if the honey bee hive is located where there is enough space, africanized beehives can be collected (if conditions are safe) and the hive re-queened. This is done by replacing the Africanized queen with a European queen bee. A bees life span is about 4 months; generally within about 4 (four) months the africanized hive will be a European beehive.

In the city it may be too dangerous to remove aggressive africanized bees alive. Once collected they need to be transported to an apiary for the purpose of the re-queening and de-feralization, all of which is may cause greater financial expense than benefit.

Bees in My House or Up Against 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 expecting to go back outside, occasionally the light is coming from inside the house and the bees end 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.

Bees coming in the window are a common misunderstanding. 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 immediately, 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 once this hive is removed, if not properly done. 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.

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. 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 99% 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.

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.

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, there is definitely a hive inside the structure that you’ll want to have removed.

Dead Bees on the Outside of My House

Dead bees along the outside of the house are signs of a beehive living in the wall, eave or attic. This will typically be accompanied by bee activities buzzing above or near the dead bees. Upon observation you may also see dead or sick bees being carried out by one or two bees and dropped somewhere.

There are three typical reasons why this may be happening, all of which involve a beehive living in or attached to the structure with typically 4,000 to 20,000 bees.

  1. The bee hive has recently split and the swarm (half the bees from the prior hive) have traveled and moved into this location. Because of the difficulties involved with the migration process, the old or weak bees die along the way or sometime after the bees arrive.
  2. Another cause for the dead bees outside of the house or structure is that the beehive may have a disease which is affecting them, causing a very small percentage that you are noticing dead on the ground. Dead bees on the ground outside of a home doesn’t mean the problem will solve itself, feel free to give us a call if you have questions at our bee removal hotline.
  3. A third 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. More on robberbees.
  4. One other area that is common to find dead bees is by the front door of the house or porch. This is caused by the porch light that comes on before dark or early morning, and it being brighter than the current sunlight, the bees are being drawn to it. This is typically a sign that there is a bee hive attached to the house or very near the structure.
  5. One last reason you may see dead bees on the ground is that typically a house, business, or other structure will get bees every 20 to 30 years or so. But if there were a prior bee nest that was dead or killed and left in the roof, wall or eave, it is common to get returning bees every year near the same spot OR a different location nearby. If bees are dying and dropping out from the side of the structure or if there are dead bees nearby it may be that there is a chemical of some kind in there, perhaps from an earlier bee extermination were the hive was killed and left in the structure. Again, dying bees along the ground outside typically doesn’t mean the problem will solve itself on any level, if you have questions call the bee hotline or request service online – Adkins Bees.

How to Get Rid of Bees in a Chimney

bees in chimney
Regular Chimney Removal

Bees will send out scouting parties of 10 to 100 bees in search of a new home. Chimneys appear to be just that. It is typical in this stage to find some bees in the house up against the window in a room near the chimney alive, dead, or lethargic. Often while inspecting the chimney, the bee 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 you need a preventative treatment around the chimney top. Most pest sprays will work, as the bees return to the hive and report the bad conditions, thus choosing a different chimney or location to start a home.

honeycomb in chimney
Structural Chimney Removal

I got a call on Mother's Day from a couple who, upon noticing bees coming from the chimney, were instructed by a friend to get rid of the bees by lighting a fire. (Though this can work at times, it normally only works if the hive hasn't already moved in.) In their case the bees had already moved into the top of the chimney. Upon lighting the fire, half the swarm fell down the chimney and then flew into the family room. The couple ended up with a house full of bees and little black soot spots all over the walls and curtains!

If the hive in the chimney is established, the last thing you want to do to get rid of the bees is light a fire. Upon doing so, the bees will simply gather at the top of the chimney for as long as the fire lasts. In addition the heat from the fire will melt the honey down the sides of the chimney causing a more permanent honey smell, attracting more bees each year. Lastly, the beehive is not always in the flu itself but in-between the flu and the chimney wall. In this case lighting a fire is pointless, though if hot enough, it may also melt the honey.

Bees in my Basement

Several times throughout the year I will get a call from customers that say “I have bees in my basement.” Sometimes these are honeybees in the basement, and other times they are yellow jackets or hornets. The great majority of time, the nest is inside the wall and the bees are getting in by accident. Often more activity will arise when the light in the basement is left on. In any case, the important part is generally to remove the nest and the bees. To learn more about what's involved, visit how to get rid of bees in my wall. This covers some dos and don'ts, and tips for solving your bee problem.

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How to Get Rid of Bees in My Wall, Roof, Attic, Eaves, Fence, Jacuzzi, shed floor, etc..

bees in ceiling
Bee Removal from inside of your ceiling

Bees buzzing around the roof line, soffit, garage, wall void, fence, jacuzzi or a similar structure may likely be an indication of a beehive. If the 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 as mentioned above but are also going in and out of an opening and there doesn't seem to be heavy traffic, watch the bees entering. If the bees entering the 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 is no yellow pollen sacs on the backs of their legs, there may still be a bee hive; however they most likely just arrived within a day or two. In the case where the bees are floating around, and if any small amount are entering a hole in the area, but have no yellow pollen sacs on their legs, to get rid of the honey bees you may choose to obtain a can of wasp or hornet spray; apply a single coat over the area in question. If after 15 minutes the bee activity persists or worsens, there is most likely a beehive inside with thousands of bees and you should contact a bee removal specialist to get rid of the bee hive. If however the activity has ceased, than they would appear to have been what is called scout bees, and what could have been a quite costly dilemma has been avoided. However, be careful to note that bees sleep in the evening and early morning. If you are re-inspecting during these times, and 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 the bees. Inspections are best made between 10am to 4pm. Immediate attention is much less frustrating, time consuming, and costly.

If the bees have moved into the structure, getting rid of the bees in walls, roofs, eaves soffits, and attics can be among the most difficult to remedy and the most expensive. Occasionally, honey bees are found in the rain gutter. Sometimes, when the gutter actually goes into a building, the bees will follow it and form a hive inside the wall or attic of the building. In some cases with yellow jackets, they just build the nest inside the rain gutter. Typically there is 20 to 80 lbs of honeycomb in these beehives.

Some time ago I received a call from a elder lady explaining that her pest control provider got rid of her bee problem, but now there is honey running down the walls of her new house (this happens quite a bit). Now, when addressing a customer's bee problem, there are a series of questions I ask to find out what they know and what I need to explain. One of the questions I asked was ‘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.” This is often a common response. She was not informed to remove the honeycomb. 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.

Well, an average beehive that is 3 months old has 20 to 40 pounds of honeycomb. During the day, bees keep the hive cool using their wings to circulate air through the hive. If it's a hot day and the bees have been killed or extracted that honey will start melting in just hours. If you don't get a bee removal specialist or beekeeper in there soon, that honey will melt down the walls and likely create a permanent smell that attracts not only bees, but rodents, moths and other insects each year.

Ironically by getting rid of your bees and not removing the honey, the pest control company has created even more problems without you even knowing it! So much for the “trust your home to the bee experts” ads I've been seeing online from the leading nationwide pest control company. An exterminator often tells the customer that the powdery chemical that kills the bees will dry up the melting honey, solving the problem. Regrettably, it should be obvious that pest product designed to keep bugs away is not going to dry up 40 lbs of honeycomb on a warm day, or any day. But when the ‘expert' is telling you this, it sure sounds better than shelling out more money toward opening, removing, and repairing a wall or roof.

Dark Mildew Stains on My Stucco from Melting Honey

honeycomb in stucco wall
Bee Removal from inside of stucco

Melting honey stain on house walls 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 for withholding information regarding the structural damages and staining from not removing the beehive. For this reason and other humanitarian reasons many pest control companies do not get rid of bees of perform any bee removal. Still some pest control companies, after exterminating honeybees, have the customer sign a waiver to release them from the liability of the exhausted beehive in the home or structure and informing them of the need of getting rid of the leftover honey and dead bees.

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 drip down the walls, off the stucco, or into the house, sometimes a year after the actual bee eradication. If you do not get rid of the honey or remove the honey, you will typically end up with long term problems. 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.

Some time ago I spoke with a home owner that had purchased and installed a new AC unit in a very large house 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 (I guess rats need AC too). The rats were initially attracted by a beehive that was exterminated and left in the attic. When you get rid of bees (preferably alive) be sure to get rid of the honey as well.

Bad smell coming from my wall

There are typically two reasons that cause a bad smell where a beehive has been exterminated. Often the honey from the bee hive attracts rodents. Occasionally, bees will kill the rodent that is is trying to get the honey. If killed by the bees, this can cause a real bad smell that hangs around for quite some time. 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 homeowner, or someone in charge of the house, kills the bees and/or tries to seal up the opening, 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.

Leaving a beehive in your wall is almost always the worst choice! 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. The obvious way to solve the problem is to open the wall and to clean the bees, along with the honeycomb, out of the wall. Some beehives have up to a hundred pounds of honey.

Prices and Cost of Bee Removal

How to find the right price on structural bee removal from walls chimneys and attics can be a buzz kill in itself. It takes a little research along with perhaps a few free quotes. Getting stung by a bee is bad enough, let alone being overcharged for a bee removal service, this can be especially so if Africanized bees are new to your county or state. In this new area you can find yourself in a pickle. No beekeepers want to collect your bees anymore, and you have trouble finding anyone that will remove the beehive and honeycomb and doing the repair and warranty.

This summer I fielded a call from a little old lady who told me she forgot what time her appointment was. I checked our route and couldn't find her name. I asked where her bees were, and she replied they were on a tree. I then asked her what company she called and what price she was quoted. Her reply: “Well” she said, “he told me it is $500.00″ Five hundred dollars to get rid of a bee swarm on a tree? Yup, it was no surprise to me when she told me the name of the company; they've been doing that for a long time, with an added dose of africanized bee scare. Illegal? I don't think so, dishonest and unkind? Certainly. Here's a pest company in Arizona I came across today getting rid of the bees by exterminating them at a dishonest price for an elderly lady and leaving her no options for removing the honey and dead bees in the wall. Update: Most deaths caused by bees occur to elderly people. We are planning to provide some options for free bee removal to the low income elderly in Fall 2009.

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.

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How to Kill Bees?

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.

About the Author

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. John can be contacted here John@AdkinsBees.com He is currently interested in non profit, open source, startup businesses solutions that have positive impacts.

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Leave a Reply

46 Responses to “How to Get Rid of Bees”

  1. Lucy Lemoine says:

    I just discovered a bee hive in one of my trees. It is the size of my hand.

    I just cannot believed, I always wanted to have something like that but in my farm not in my back yard. I do have kids and dogs. Please help. If you can send me an email with the subtitle bees,so I can identified it. Thank you.

  2. stephen says:

    There is an abandoned house for sale next door to mine. A beehive has started within the outer wall next to my house. I now have a huge beehive not ten feet from my house on someone else's property. Repeated calls to the realtors have gone unanswered. What do I do?

  3. Patricia Wong says:

    Have discovered honey bees living in the hollow of a tree in our backyard. Please e-mail me to discuss removal. Thank you.

  4. JoAnn says:

    I have a beehive in my orange tree. I've thought of just leaving them there but I have 2 small dogs a tortoise and neighbors. I do live in a windy area with winds up to 35 to 60 miles an hour. I was hoping they will leave on their own. Is that likely? They have not been aggressive and their hive does look like a beard. They've been there about 5 days. What should I do. I don't want them injured. Thanks

  5. I have bees under my seldom used porch.I found them at 4 am letting the dogs out.Standing in the quiet early morning air,I could hear a faint Humming.C#,I think.I discovered a small hole under my outside porch with little winged travelers.I hate to kill them ?Can we co-exist ?

  6. Marie says:

    We just discovered a multitude of bees surrounding, and going in and out of, a sprinkler valve box on the ground. I'm not sure it is actually a swarm at this point. Suggestions for self removal? Thanks!

  7. Cheryl says:

    Last Sunday there was a large gathering of bees on our gutter drain and bees buzzing around. Within the hour the cluster had dissappeared, but the buzzing bees have remained for the last 4 days. I just went out and looked and they are going into an area right next to our gutter drain spout. Should we try to spray or do you suggest we have someone come out and see if they've gone ito the part of our attic that we can't access? Thank you.

  8. Ann Johnston says:

    I have bees in a post in my atrium in the front. I was told bee people would come & get them for free – reading your info it doesn't sound like it. What is your quote?

  9. admin says:

    Hi Mary,

    If you could perfectly seal off the air supply yes, but this option is seldom available, however it were to work or partially work, it typically creates a bigger problem of causing the wax to melt and the honey to cause damages and attract rodents more bees and insects. – Feel free to call a call. – 888-902-2337 Goodluck.

  10. Mary says:

    If you cut off the air supply to the bees will they die?

  11. kelly says:

    about how much do you guys typically charge (price range)???

  12. admin says:

    If you were tipped off about the bees in your chimney because they came down and out through the fireplace, then it is likely that you caught it early (before a swarm moves in, scout bees inspect the chimney, and will often pop out of the fireplace because they get lost and forget how they got in; this is also true of a brand new swarm that moves into a chimney).

    If this is the case, and you caught it early, then the smoke will likely drive them away. If not, and the bees have been in the chimney for more than 4 days, then they will keep coming back to that spot.

    As for the wasps under the deck, they are a nuisance, but not nearly as bad as honeybees. Knock ‘em out whenever you see them starting again. But, it will likely continue every year.

  13. charlene says:

    Hello,

    I have or had a bee hive within the vent of the fireplace. I turned the fireplace on and burned the hive however, I noticed the workers swarmed the area unable to get back to the hive. How do I prevent them from going back to that location to build another hive?

    I also have the cone hives under the railings of my deck. I kill the bees every year and remove the nest. How do I prevent them from coming back to the same spot year after year?

    Regards,
    Charlene

  14. admin says:

    @Charlie… Those are just a few stragglers that were out exploring the neighborhood when the rest of the swarm flew away. They don't really pose any real threat, since there is nothing for them to defend. Those few remaining bees will likely fly away to join another hive or swarm.

  15. Charlie says:

    My neighbor came across a swarm today hanging on the back side of his house, and it made me curious about bee behavior. I have never seen so many bees in one location in person before. It was easily several thousand. I stumbled onto this site while searching for him as to what he should do about them.

    We decided after reading your FAQ to leave them alone… They moved along (or so I think, because they vanished for the most part) after an hour or so, leaving about four dozen bees swarming around the spot where all of them were congregated. Because this handful of bees stuck around, I wonder if we should be concerned about more coming back, because he has small children, or are these bees likely just lost after the rest moved on?

    Thank you for this informative site, I learned a lot from it.

  16. admin says:

    Hi Nancy,
    Bumblebees are similar in one aspect to wasps, in which they will abandon their hive in late fall. If you would like to get the bees removed prior to that, feel free to give me a call at 877-723-5467
    - John

  17. I have bumble bees in the ground in my back yard. How do I get rid of them. I have a small child that plays out there.

  18. admin says:

    Those are good questions. It depends on what type of chimney, whether it’s a structural capped chimney or an open chimney. For more details, visit howtogetridofbees.com, and select ‘Get rid of bees in chimney.’ Hope this helps.

  19. Bruce Rodriguez says:

    How much do you charge if bees are already established in a 2 story chimney?

  20. admin says:

    Melody,

    thanks for your question. It’s not real common to find someone to remove them for free. This is, however, to a degree influenced on where you live. Please see the following page:http://brsr.org/how-to-get-rid-of-bees/#2

    Adkins Bee Removal
    877-723-5467

  21. melody says:

    I have a bee hive in some old wooden skateboard ramps and i don't want them destroyed by my landlord but i can't afford someone to come get them, what can i do to save them?

  22. admin says:

    Lida,
    Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear that the bees came back after a company removed them. This is a complaint we hear a lot! It’s good however to see it posted online for others.
    It’s very important to remove the honeycomb, clean, treat (suppress the smell of the beehive), and bee proof the structure properly so the bees do not return. This is an acquired skill and (like many things) not easy to do without knowledge and experience. In situations like this at times good companies will offer extended warrantees. Feel free to drop us a line.
    Adkins Bee Removal
    877-723-5467

  23. admin says:

    Willard: thanks for your inquiry.
    African bees look the same as the appear to look the same as European honeybee, though unnoticeably smaller in size, Africanized honeybees are more aggressive, territorial, and may nest in awkward places. Africanized bee stingers are essentially the same as European bees, however, they defend their hive in larger numbers than European bees. Africanized bees become more easily aggravated then European bees, and can stay aggressive for days after being disturbed.
    It is impossible, to identify an Africanized bee without a lab or microscope. A common method of testing for Africanized honeybees, it the FABIS method (Fast Africanized Bee Identification System).
    Adkins Bee Removal
    877-723-5467

  24. admin says:

    Sean, for live bee removal or getting rid of bees in Phoenix and Tucson just give us a call we’ll be happy to help.
    877-723-5467

  25. admin says:

    Marien ,
    It’s first important to identify if these are honeybees, or something else. Feel free to view our bee identification chart, give us a call, or mail us one of these bees, and we can help you identify it.
    877-723-5467
    Adkins bee removal

  26. admin says:

    Dona, you’re welcome, just remember that an important part of solving the bee problem is removing the honeycomb.
    Regards,
    - Adkins bee removal

  27. admin says:

    Hi Robin
    Good questions,
    Regarding getting rid of a new bee swarm, typically the bees will move on within 3 to 4 days. After 10 years of removing bees it’s my estimation that upon arrival on a tree limb, bush, or other eternal structure the bee swarm will move on about 80% of the time.
    The longer the bees are there (if they determine to build a home) the more they will want to protect that location. The aggressiveness of bees can also vary depending on what area of the US you live in, Southern California, Florida, Texas, and Arizona, are typically going to have bees that are more aggressive then States such as Atlanta, Colorado, Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and New York, were bees do not defend their home as aggressively. People have different comfort levels regarding newly arrived bees.
    People have different comfort levels around bee swarms, if you’re concerned about what to do the safe thing to do would be to have it removed. Regarding your question of prices, prices can also vary State to State, in addition to, or also depending on how far outside the city you are. Robin, as you probably know, it’s also common to get two or three different opinions before making a decision. Feel free to call the Hotline if you need additional help, 877-723-5467.

  28. robin says:

    your article was very informative, but the part about the bee swarm on a tree is our “problem”. i appreciate wahat the bees contribute to our environment, but am concerned about the safety of our little dog, not to mention our sons who were going to work in this part of the yard where I spotted the hive today. It already looks like the size of a basketball and i understand you said this could be a temporary stay. However, what if this becomes their permanent home and just gets bigger?? What do the bees look for in choosing a permanent location? Is it safe to let my dog out while the bees are in this temporary “friendly” mode? And also, if they don't leave on their own in a few days, how much should it cost to remove the hive from a tree (on a low-lying branch)? Please advise so I don't get whammied like the little old lady. Thanks.

  29. Dona Miller says:

    Ihave bees in a wall that had a cable cord removed and never patched on the outside since I read your article I will call a Bee removal company if I can find one in yuma AZ. Thanks

  30. Marien Cole says:

    Between the front steps and the house is an area of ground covering. This is the third year that the entire ground cover area has been inhabited by swarming small bees. An exterminator looked at it last year, we found no holes, and I was told they are only foraging for food. No problem, they can stay. This year they are back and there are holes in the ground all throughout the area. A group has now started on the back steps area that also has ground covering. Help! I don't want to harm the bees or the environment, but they've taken over front and back! Thank you!

  31. Sean says:

    Thanks for the excellent web site. Very helpful. I would like to learn more about live bee collection. I live in Tucson. Any suggestions for contacts here in Tucson. Thank you.

  32. Tatiana says:

    Great website with lots of useful information!

  33. How can you tell if you have africanized bee?

  34. Ken Baker says:

    Great information! Based on one of the articles above, the presence of bee's at my residence (shrub) is probably temporary. Hopefully they will move on in a few days.

  35. Lida says:

    I hired a company to remove the beehive growing under my shed, unfortunatly a year later the bees have found their old home. These guys seem more agreesive than the last family that lived there.

  36. jeanne preston says:

    hi,we have bee and a hive in an interior wallwhich is warm from the hive.We can hear the buzzing when we put our ear to the wall. We need help now!

  37. jody swank says:

    can u get rid of bees that are in a wall and comeing in the house through the heat vent?

  38. Linda Sander says:

    I recently moved into a rental house that has an old and well established bee hive in the exterior wall of the home. I showed it to our landlord and asked that he call someone to rescue it, and he instead sprayed in hornet spray and plugged up the hole with foam. Now they are coming in the house through the window casings where the rope pull weights are. We live in shreveport LA and need help finding someone who can take care of the problem. Have any suggestions. Thanks Lin

  39. Bee Hive Removal says:

    I am a senior citizen and have a large bee hive underneath my eave. I live in Yellow Springs, OHio. Who can I call to remove these?

  40. Roslyn says:

    What home remedy do you have for getting rid of bees in the ground under ornamental grass? I want something that will not damage the grass or lawn, but kill or disable the yellowjackets.

  41. Barbara says:

    Great information, however I was unable to locate information regarding my bee problem. while weeding the yard my husband was stung 5 times within minutes. I located what I think is a hive?? in a small hole in the ground. They are small black and yellow bee's. Honey bee's I don't know but they were very angry when we go to close. Do we just cover the hole, what is our next safe step. Anything information would be great. Thank you

    ADMIN Reply (9/21/08):
    Barbara,
    What it sounds like is that you've got a yellow jacket or hornet nest there. The best thing to do is to have it professionally looked at. Typically covering up the entrance only forces them to make a new one Feel free to contact me directly at 1-877-723-5467. I hope this helps.

    John,
    AdkinsBees.com

  42. BOBBIE says:

    I tried to educate myself and this was very helpful. An exterminator removed a hide last month and now I have a new one, very small, on my wall outside but near my door. I need to move fast..so far don't see any. Altamonte Springs, FL

  43. ben says:

    what do i do if i'm not even sure they are bees.whatever they are, they are under my front stoop and the ground level deck.what do i do ?

  44. ADMIN says:

    Melanie, Thanks for your post, glad this information was helpful, bees can be difficult when they're building on your property especially if they don't pay rent!

  45. Pat says:

    We have area of bushes where we placed bird feeders. It appears that there are bees flying in and out of the base of 2-3 of the bushes and the fly around the bird feeders and the birds stopped coming and it is unpleasant to sit out back what can we do to get rid of the bees and will they kill our bushes.

  46. melanie baughman says:

    your website was very helpful my home has alot of bees nest. thank you alot

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