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Bees in vent or air duct

Honey Bees in a vent or air duct of the house can be difficult to get rid of. Unlike a wasp, a new swarm of honeybees begin with thousands of bees. Within just a few days they may have a several sheets of honeycomb each about the size of your hand near or inside the vent or air duct. Often I'm asked how to make the bees go away, getting the honey bees to abandon their home in the vent or air duct is typically done by extermination or removal and relocation.

In attempts to get rid of bees, people turn on the vent and occasionally make other concoctions to thwart off the bees such as sealing, taping, or closing up the vents in hopes to choke out the bees. This can drive thousands of bees into the house or into other areas, and or causes them to dig through sealant (if used), or to dig through the wood or stucco creating new openings. Unless the bees have not moved in yet and are simply scouting the structure There's no easy solution to getting rid of the honeybees.

Bees that are entering in and out through the vent opening outside of the structure seldom live inside the vent or air duct shaft, but instead are living in the wall or void around it and only appear to be going into the vent. If you see bees inside your bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, or other area of the house or find bees near windows, these few bees are getting in by accident and simply represent a much larger problem, Bees can generally observe them from the outside.

The unfortunate solution for bees in vent is to open up the house, wall, or roof, remove the honeybees and hive from the structure, and then repair that location. In most cases just killing the bees using a bee exterminator and then sealing up the opening creates long-term ongoing bee problems. Even if it was sealed up well, the smell of the honey in near the vent or attached to the house, wall, or roof attracts more bees in years to come. If you plan to just leave the honeycomb inside the vent area and the bees don't appear to be a threat it can be best to leave the hive living. When it's alive, the honey is contained and cooled by the bees, but once the bee hive is killed the honey will melt. You should only expect to have a bee problem like this perhaps once in a lifetime, but not removing the honeycomb tends to create ongoing problems.

For additional insight on getting rid of the bees in the vents, visit our get rid of bees in house page or visit our bee removal homepage to learn more about Adkins services.

See questions & answers below, or to get specific information, upload a picture of where the bees are entering and exiting and get feedback. See Questions & answers below - Ask the beeman!


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Ken Bredemeyer
between 1st and 2nd floo
Yuma az

I have had bees killed 4 times but keep coming back. I have sealed openings but they keep comeing. If I tear the ceiling and clean the hive out, how do I clean the area well enough to keep the bees from smelling it?

Beekeeper:  Hi Ken, RE: Bees in vent, From what your describing you may likely be better off having someone stop by. Feel free to contact us here 877-723-5467. Goodluck.

not sure
Santa Rosa, Ca.

I just move into my condo in January. A few weeks ago their was a bee in my bedroom. Being allergic to bees I ran out and closed the door. I went back in a few days later and he was gone. But then the next day he was there again. I ran out closed the door again. Everyday I go back in and I have not seen him but now I can hear buzzing upstairs and down stairs in the after noons 1:ooish that last 2 to 3 hrs.. what is your take? Do I have problem?

Beekeeper:  Bees in vent, YES Tammy, sounds like you have a bees that moved into your vent or wall, it should be the whole swarm that moved in and now there building a hive. Next time look outside near the vent or were the noise is, you'll likely see activity near the eave area. - To get rid of the bees in the vent or wall without recurring problems, you'll want to open the vent or area and remove the bees and honeycomb. Tammy you can get a hold of me through the number on the county page if you need to. - good luck.

Netti Dierks
Air vent
Swellendam, South Africa

Hi there, we have just moved into a farmhouse in the country that has been standing empty for a few years, and there is a swarm of bees living in one of the air vents. They don't really disturb us, the airvent is above a high window and there is no need for us to walk past it much, so we kind of figured it should be safe as long as we stay out of each other's way ;-) Lately we have been noticing some strange behavior though, or maybe not so strange, but I can't seem to find any info on it on the web. It's been a really hot summer here in South Africa, and on hot days 1000's of bees just group outside the vent on the wall, sometimes they are gone again by the morning, but lately there is always a group hanging on the wall at 5am, the group grows during the day. Knowing very little about bees I am not sure what to think. Any input will be greatly appreciated. THANK YOU for your time and for having such an informative web-site,it really helps people like me ;-) Many blessings for 2010, Netti

Beekeeper:  Re: Bees in vent Hi Netti, Your very welcome, and Greetings to you in Africa! Hope you also have a great year in 2010. What you're noticing is very common on a few levels. The two likely being: In the summer hot days some of the bees hang out outside the vent duct to cool off and keep the hive cooler. Second, its often a sign that the bee hive is getting to large and may split in two, half the bee colony moving out. Though you'll get rid of half the bees, they most likely will not all abandon their home in the vent shaft.

kitchen stove vent
Converse, Tx

Hi, Sorry, hidden hive can't supply pictures. I have a 1 story house with a low pitched roof and for the past 2 weeks have seen honey bees inside my stove vent/light. The other day I cleaned up 6-8 dead bees from inside the lighted vent, today I started cooking lunch and saw 2 more live bees in it. Not sure what to do, was advised to burn sulfur fumes when the vent fan is running to kill any bees by a bee control person in a web forum. My husband wants to "save money and cap off and remove the entire vent pipe from stove to roof to avoid later bees coming back". I advised him that might be a bad idea since hes not a bee person. Since I doubt we can afford professional removal (please supply quotes so I can consider it still), is there anything I can boil or smoke up the stove vent fan to try to encourage them to move a possible hive? Boiling wine fumes maybe? I really don't want to kill the bees or make my cooking area toxic. Thanks, VaL

Beekeeper:  Dear Val,
Even a picture from the outside where the bees are coming in and out is helpful, in terms of seeing what would be involved. If you could upload a picture from the outside, I could give you a more accurate price of what it would actually cost to remove the hive and the bees.
Burning smoke of any kind in your vent most likely won't have much effect if any, but may cause the honey to melt which often creates long-term ongoing problems. In addition, the bees might not actually be in the vent itself, just because they are coming out of the vent. Most of the time they are living next to it and the honey bees coming in are doing so because they got lost.
Capping off the vent is also the great majority of time a bad idea, as this drives the thousands of bees inside the house, as well as eventually they dig their way out anyways. I'm sorry to say I know of no simple solution to bees inside of a house, wall, or structure, besides opening it and pulling the beehive out. Feel free to upload a photo for a price quote of what you may be looking at.

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