Getting rid of bees in tree trunks or hollows

Honeybees in tree trunks or hollows often cause recurring problems. Getting rid of the bees in a tree trunk yourself may present a tremendous challenge. A beehive in a tree trunk 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. You can have the bees in the tree trunk 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 alive in the tree trunk) 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 in the tree trunk 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 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.

Bees in tree trunks 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; there vehicle swerved and hit a tree. From what she explained her grandfather got injured and didn't make it out of the car, the bees in the tree went into defense mode and from what I understand he was stung many times before the paramedics arrived.

Additionally, 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 toll free bee removal help line, we provide this help service for recurring bee problems.

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In the trunk of a tree
Waxhaw, NC

We have a very high tree in our back yard with a bee hive in the trunk, our problem is that our deck is 14 odd feet up on the air so the bee hive is becoming an issue even though the whole in which the bees are is probably at least another 12 odd feet up. My hubby brought home a can of something to spray in the hole which scares me to death as I have seen those bees when they have been disturbed, there are but millions of them plus all of it is a bad idea, he wants to put a ladder from the deck to the tree which would mean at some point he will be on a ladder that is twenty some feet in the air, I said no of course but he knows better. I read your caption about there still being honey in there and if you don't close up the hole then you are wasting your time but he does not want to pay anyone to come fix the problem right ... please advise, thank you.

Beekeeper:  Tracy-Lee It sounds like there is quite a bit of potential for disaster... ladder from porch to tree, a can of spray, and an established bee hive in a tree trunk. What may look like a few bees flying in and out of a hole, is really a mass of about 10,000 bees that are willing to die to defend their home. This is a case where it might be worth the cost of having somebody else take care of the problem. Maybe, to make your husband feel like he is saving some money, tell the professional that your husband will seal the hole, and ask for a discount. If you have trouble finding somebody, feel free to call our toll free line to see if we can help. Take care.

In the tree
Lynwood, California

there is many bees in my tree and they just dont go away. we covered the hole with cement but there might still be some in the tree how do we make them go away?

Beekeeper:  Hello Francisco. If the bees in the tree trunk have been established for any decent length of time (over a couple of weeks), then it is considered to be difficult to get rid of the problem simply by sealing up the hole. Usually, the bees create a new hole in the tree if the original is blocked off. A bee hive can usually feed off of their pollen and honey supply for up to months inside of the tree trunk while they are entombed. I see you are in Los Angeles, if the problem persists, feel free to give us a call here Los Angeles bee removal.

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