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Honey bees buzzing around a roof line, soffit, garage, wall void, fence, jacuzzi or a similar structure may likely be an indication of a beehive. If 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 [bee id] 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 honeybees entering an 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 are no yellow pollen sacs on their legs, a hive likely just arrived within a day or two. In the case where bees are floating around, or if any small amount are entering a hole but have no yellow pollen sacs on their legs, and you cannot see a nest, to get rid of the honey bees you may choose to obtain a can of wasp or hornet spray and apply a single coat over the area in question. If after 15 minutes bee activity persists or worsens, there is most likely a beehive inside with thousands of bees consider contacting a bee removal specialist to get rid of the bee hive. If however activity has ceased, than they would appear to have been what are called scout bees, and what could have been a quite costly dilemma has been avoided. If you try this, bookmark this page encase you need to return. Be careful to note that bees sleep in the evening through the very early morning. If you are re-inspecting during these times, but 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 bees in the wall or structure. Inspections are best made between 10am to 4pm. In the US or Canada call our bee hotline if you would like help. When it comes to bees, immediate attention is often much less frustrating, time consuming, and costly.
If bees have moved into a structure, getting rid of bees near window, or in walls, roofs, eaves, soffits, or bees in basement can prove most difficult to remedy. Occasionally, honey bees are found near vents or rain gutters. When a gutter actually goes into a wall or eave structure, bees may follow it and form a hive inside the vent, wall or under the roof of the building. Typically there is 20 to 80 lbs of honeycomb in these beehives.
Some time ago I received a call from a elderly lady explaining that her pest control provider got rid of her bee problem, but now honey is running down the wall of her house (this happens quite a bit). When addressing a customer's bee problem, there are a series of questions I ask to find out what they already know and what may need to be explained. One question is '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 can also be a common response. She was not informed to remove the honeycomb, or it was not brought home to her attention. 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.
An average beehive about 3 months old may have 20 to 40 pounds of honeycomb. During daytime bees keep the hive cool using their wings to circulate air through it. If you live in Arizona, Texas, Florida, Las Vegas, or California, it's a hot day, and the bees have been killed or extracted, that honey will start melting very quickly. If not removed, that honey will melt down the wall or roof line, and permanently set into the structure. This often can cause staining or mildew. That area of the structure will likely create long term problems attracting rodents, moths and other insects, but more especially returning bees. If you’re wondering why you keep getting bees, this is the greatest culprit. To solve this recurring problem in such cases it is simply best to remove and clean out hives that exist and do some extra work suppressing the smell and bee proofing on vents, roof, or wall, eave, voids to keep bees away or from returning.
Ironically (whether they know it or not) by getting rid of your bees and not removing hive and honey, the pest company has created even more problems without you even knowing it! So much for "trust your home to the bee experts". Exterminators often tell home owners that the powdery chemical they use to kill bees will dry up the melting honey, solving your problem. Regrettably, it should be obvious that pest product designed to kill and keep bugs away is not going to dry up 10 to 50 lbs of honeycomb. On warm days this honey may show up running down the wall or in some other form. However, when the 'expert' is telling you this will solve the problem, it sure sounds better than shelling out additional money toward finding a contractor (with no bee removal experience) to open, remove, and repair a wall or roof, in which case the cost may end up being perhaps twice as much, and there is no warrantee on returning bees! Here is a short list of reasons why you may not want to use a bee exterminator to kill the bees.
See Questions & answers below - Ask the beeman!
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