Getting Rid of Bees In or Near Your Home
Bees are some of the most valuable insects in the world. But, sometimes they are in a location that causes trouble for us. While you may appreciate them, you may find yourself wondering how to get rid of bees. Many times this can be done without killing the colony. Especially in the case of honey bees, it is often possible to relocated the colony rather than destroy them.
Any type of insect can be a problem when they live too close to you. This includes honey bee colonies too. They can be a problem when they chose to build their home in your home.
Bees are important and no colony destruction should take place without making a effort to save the bees.
Bee Swarms Move In
Honey bees can move into human structures and cause concern. This often happens during swarm season.
Woe unto you if they choose a wall of your home to build a new hive.
Honey bees prefer to build their home in an enclosed space. In the wooden trim or your home or perhaps between the vinyl siding and the walls.
If you find yourself playing “landlord” to a bee hive, it is too late to go searching for a bee repellent. You will need some special help.
Honey Bees in the Wall of Your Home
A beehive in a wall is usually no real danger to the inhabitants of the house. At least, the danger is minimal if you stay away from the outside entrance to the bee nest.
However, having a colony of honey bees living with you is not as romantic as the idea may sound. It is not unusual for a few bees to take a wrong turn on the way out and end up inside the house.
But, the outside entrance can become unsafe too. When the colony grows large and becomes defensive no one can be near the exit.
This is a greater problem if they have made a nest in your foundation-or low down on the exterior wall. Bees need personal space near the entrance.
The biggest problem with hosting a hive in your home is not the bees themselves. The beeswax comb, honey, pollen etc attracts other pests and insects.
Even though you may hate the thought, you can just kill them to get rid of them right?
No, not really because getting rid of the bees will not get rid of the wax, honey etc inside your wall.
In addition to attracting ants and other insects, untended honey can ferment. Imagine soured gooey honey seeping through your wall.
And if you live in a region that has Africanized Bees, stop right here and call a professional.
How to Get Honey Bees Out of the House
You can call an exterminator to help with the honey bee problem in your house. But, they will probably not remove the hive contents unless you pay extra for the job.
And, they would most likely kill the bees because stinging insects can be a big problem.
The best way to remove a colony from in between walls is to hire an experienced beekeeper. This job is called a bee “cut-out”.
Beekeepers who specialize in cut-outs are both beekeepers and carpenters.
Once the siding is removed and the hive taken out, someone has to put the wall back together.
Bee removal is a big job that is not done for free. Costs vary and you should shop around to find the best solution for your home.
Get several estimates and have a clear understanding of what you expect them to do.
Keep in mind that it is almost impossible for a beekeeper to get every single bee. Don’t worry if a few foragers remain for a few days.
Getting Rid of Bees in a Tree
Honey bees live in any suitable cavity large enough to be their home. If you find a tree that contains a beehive there are several options to consider.
If the honey bee colony is high up in the air, just let them be. The colony should cause you no trouble.
In fact, you will probably forget they are there. With no threat near the hive entrance, the bees will go about their daily activities.
If the bees are in a tree that has fallen or the lower part of the tree, they may represent a liability. Again, it is time to call on a local beekeeper for help.
There are several methods beekeepers use to harvest a tree hive. One method is to cut out the section of log that houses the beehive and transport it back to their apiary.
Honey bees almost always build their nests in closed cavities. If you see a grey paper nest hanging in a tree, that is NOT a honey bee nest.
You are probably seeing a wasp or hornet nest. Getting rid of bees (wasps) in this situation is a job for a professional exterminator.
Wasps Nests in All the Wrong Places
While honey bee nests are active year-round, wasps nests are seasonal. They are commonly found under the eves of houses, picnic tables and lawn furniture.
Wasp nests begin when mated queens emerge from hibernation. The size of the nest grows over the Summer season.
The easiest way to get rid of wasps is to destroy the nests while they are small.
Wasps aggressively defend their nest. Once it reaches full size, the best way to get rid of it is to use a commercial pesticide spray. Be careful – wasps don’t play around.
Removing Bee Nests in the Ground
Among the thousands of species of bees, many of them nest in the ground. But, the one that gets the most attention is actually a wasp not a bee.
Yes, I am talking about the Yellow Jacket. These wasps build large colonies under ground.
They are not noticed in the Spring when the population is small. But seemingly over-night, the population of a Yellow Jacket nest can explode.
The entrance to a nest of ground bees is a small hole that is easily hidden. This presents a serious danger to unsuspecting adults, children and pets.
A traditional method of getting rid of ground bees has been the use of petroleum fuel. A small amount of gasoline or kerosene poured down the hole after dark, took care of the problem.
However in recent years, we have become more environmentally conscious. This type of bee control damages the soil and water.
Another way to kill bees in the ground is with an insecticide dust. After dark, pour a large amount of the dust directly at the entrance to the nest.
This method requires a few days to get rid of the bees. But it does work with possibly less damage to the environment.
One way to reduce the number of Yellow Jacket nests in your area is to use traps early in the season.
Keeping Bees Away from You and Your Family
It is not unusual for insects to want to attend your backyard picnic. These foragers are looking for sweets to eat.
You are not likely to experience a bee sting unless you happen to squeeze one.
That does not mean that you want these uninvited guests crashing your party. Various scented aids to discourage bees include: citronella candles and bug bombs.
Keep food covered to the prevent insects from getting a taste. Don’t wear heavy perfume when outside. You don’t want to smell like a flower.
Moving Your Beehive to Another Location
The time may come when you need to move a honey bee hive. Moving a beehive can be done easily with proper planning and maybe some help.
Honey bee colonies are heavy. Moving hives is a job for 2 people. After dark, close the entrance of the hive.
Carefully move the hive and its residents to a new location at least a mile away.
Wearing your safety gear, open the hive entrance. The next morning the bees will emerge and reorient themselves to the new location.
How to Make Your Own Bee Spray
Getting rid of unwanted bees and wasps does not have to be an adventure into the world of commercial chemicals. You can easily make your own natural bee spray with common household ingredients.
Use caution and be sure to wear long sleeves – better yet a bee suit and veil if you have one.
Recipe for Spray to Kill Bees & Wasps
- Measure 3 cups of any brand of liquid soap into the 1 gallon tank sprayer
- Slowly fill the rest of the tank with water to the fill line on the tank
- Screw the top on the sprayer, pump up with pressure.
- Test to make sure you have a heavy stream of soapy water coming out of the nozzle.
- Use caution. Bees or wasps must be coated with soap water for this method to work.
Final Thoughts on Getting Rid of Bees
Again, please don’t kill honey bees – they can often be relocated. Consider letting other insects live too if they pose no danger to your family.
If you are faced with getting rid of bees, please use the least toxic method possible.