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How to Get Rid of Bees

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How to Get Rid of Bees!

"How to get rid of bees" is a question asked when bees show up in the wrong places, and sometimes even when they are in the right places!   This page was created from being asked thousands of times a year how to get rid of bees.

This article targets the most common places beehives move into with solutions to get rid of the bees. It expels myths of why you get bees, covers why the bees choose that spot, and how to keep from getting bees it in the future. Each topic includes a Q&A section.

First a quick fact:  Bees contribute a startling one-third of the entire worlds food through pollination as well as much of the colors in the world.  You should know that both Africanized bees and European bees sting ONLY when feeling threatened, or defending their home.


Bee Id Chart
Bee Swarms
Free bee removal
Are Bees Dangerous?
Tree / Shrubs - Loud buzzing on tree or shrubs
Tree / Shrubs - How to get rid of bee swarm on tree.
Tree trunk - Getting rid of bees in tree trunks
Bees in house / Bees on window.
Walls, eaves, attics, under house, fence, jacuzzi, and shed floor. hot!
Dead bees outside of house
Chimney - How to get rid of bees in chimney.
Vent / Air duct - Get rid of bees in vent or air duct.
Ground Bees - Get rid of bees in ground.
Pool, pond, or water source.
Bird feeder / humming bird feeder.
Bird house / Owl box - Bees living in bird house or owl box.
Basement - Bees inside basement
Honey stains on structure.
Bad smell
Prices and cost of bee removal (structural bee removal)
Do it yourself (DIY) - Removing honey and bees
How to kill bees?
Keep bees from returning
Toll free hotline
Handyman /Carpenter
Ask a Question / Comment

Bee Swarms
Honeybees often split their beehive. That can be observed as thousands of bees traveling /swarming in a circular motion. If your nearby you'll hear a fairly loud buzzing /humming noise. While swarming to a new location the bees are non-aggressive. If they are on your property you are probably reading this, heres what you can do.
Before bees choose a destination they typically send out scout bees looking for a suitable home. A party of scout bees can be a few to a fifty bees buzzing around. If the bees like the location, more bees will come to inspect, then a short while later may move in with the swarm. Often this happens without anyones knowledge.
The swarm consists of thousands of bees which may rest on a bush or tree for up to a few days during the migration. When resting, the swarm can be the size of a football or basketball and kind of beard shaped with some 2,000 to 7,000 bees! (Though can be bigger or even smaller). Harassing the honeybee during this faze confuse the bees and cause them to stay longer... Continue reading » Bee Swarms

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Free Bee Removal
Throughout the U.S. when bees are on city or state property they are handled though that city or state. Bees on public property are typically considered the homeowners responsibility however there are a small number of cities/counties that remove bees on public property... >> Continue Reading Free bee removal.

Honey Bee Removal

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Are Bees Dangerous?

In the great majority of cases you may find honeybees are fairly easy to get along with. While Africanized bees have been largely over-hyped by the media, these bees (and European honey bees) can be dangerous. For example, recently we have been involved with a much greater amount of angry feral bee activity than normal. During this time, we performed bee removal in a shed, where two lambs were attacked and killed by bees, one lived the other didn't. Later that day, we performed a bee removal on a gas station lamp post. The pole was bumped by the back of a car, the bees swarmed out and into the drivers car window, stinging her and others nearby. A week later we performed bee removal from a tree where a man was attacked by aggressive bees that originated from an owl box. He was stung many times before making it from his yard to his house, having injured is ankle along the way he made it at last crawling in the house.

Last week a received late in the day to get rid of bees in owl box where a horses were attacked by bees and one stung a great deal of times, getting injured and requiring a vet. Yesterday we performed bee removal for a man whose son and dog were attacked while playing basketball in the front yard. The basketball bounced off the rim and landed onto the water meter cover were the bees had been living inside. His son was fine, but as the dog was tied nearby, the vet explained that the dog received 2000 stings and had a 50/50 chance to live. Often there is a story behind aggressive honeybees and bee attacks that doesn't get told, this can cause misinformation leading to an inaccurate outlook.

The normal kill ratio for a human being is said to be 10 stings per pound, so about 1,800 stings could kill someone weighing 180 lbs. A bee hive has on average 10,000 to 40,000 bees. Bees should be respected and can be dangerous. (Ask a Question / Leave Feedback)

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Loud buzzing on my tree!

Bees covering an entire tree or shrubbery uniformly accompanied by loud buzzing is common in autumn with some late-blooming trees as most of the neighboring blossoms have come and gone. Although this is great source for honeybees in preparation for perhaps a long winter, it can look and feel quite intimidating to a home owner. If the bees are all over the blossoms of the tree uniformly, this is not a cause for alarm. 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 but perhaps a few more weeks. Soon the blossoms will fall and the bees will have collected their pollen. It is generally recommended 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 may be to trim back the tree after the activity has subsided or prior to the following season so there are not as many blossoms.

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

When a beehive gets too large, the hive splits. Half of the colony (2,000-6,000 bees) moves out, traveling as a swarm. While searching for their new home, bees often rest on a bush or tree temporarily for perhaps up to three days. In this case there should be no honeycomb. A bee swarm in this phase is usually about the size of a football or basketball 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). This is because they have no home to defend yet and there is no... >> Continue Reading Get rid of swarm on tree.

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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 may present 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 and time of paying a beekeeper or a bee removal company. 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 to get rid of the bees permanently... >> Continue Reading Bees in tree trunk or hollows.

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Bees on a window sill
Dead bees on a window sill

Bees in House - On the Window
One may think bees in the house came in through the window or an open door. What is most likely happening is that they are scout bees, or a beehive is attached to the wall, attic, or chimney of the house and that a few bees are getting in through the chimney, vent, eave, or a structural void, at which point they fly to the window trying to exit commonly becoming lethargic/ tired and dying after a short while unless let back outside. Often a homeowner may come back to their house to find dead bees next to the window or near the window seal and on the floor or carpet. What has likely happened is that while away, a hive moved into the premises.

In both cases mentioned above, this happens when scout bees first begin inspecting an attic, crawl space, or chimney, they may get lost and end up in the house. The bees go toward the light in the house expecting to get back outside but ending 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.

This is also common in in the fall season for established hornets or wasps nests. Late in season nest are at their largest, this can cause more of them to get inside the house by accident.
... >> Continue Reading Bees in my house.

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Dead Bees Outside My House
Dead bees along the outside of the house are could be signs of scout bees, but the great majority of the time it is sign 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 or just the occasional bee stumbling out. There are several reasons why this may be happening, most of which involve a beehive living in or attached to the structure with typically a large hive inside (2,000 to 20,000 bees). Those causes typically include either... >> Continue Reading Dead bees outside my house.

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How to Get Rid of Bees in a Chimney

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 inside the house up against the window in a room near the chimney alive, dead, or lethargic. Scout bees inspecting a chimney 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 (if they have not moved in yet) can be done with a fire though it is not recommended unless you are certain the hive has not arrived. Otherwise consider a preventative treatment around the chimney top, most pest sprays will work, bees that return to the hive after visiting your chimney report the bad conditions, and thus normally choosing a different chimney or location to start a home and not yours.

A call came in on Mother's Day from a couple who, upon noticing bees coming from their chimney, were instructed by a friend that they could to get rid of bees by lighting a fire in the chimney. Though this can work at times, it tends to only work if the hive has not already moved in. In their case bees had already moved into the chimney top. Upon lighting the fire, half the swarm fell... >> Continue Reading Bees in chimney.

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Bees in vent or air duct

Honey Bees in a vent or air duct of the house cab be difficult to get rid of. Unlike a wasp, a new swarm of honeybees begin with thousands of bees. Within just a couple days they will have a few sheets of honeycomb each about the size of your hand near or inside the vent or air duct. 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 ... >> Continue Reading Bees in vent.

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

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... >> Continue Reading Bees in wall, roof, and eaves.

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Get Rid of Ground Bees

Very seldom do honeybees build nests in ground, more common types of ground bees are yellow jackets and bumblebees. For details and identification visit our bee id guide.

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... >> Continue Reading Bees in ground.

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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 where 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 bees coming to the swimming pool, or water source is to temporarily drain or empty the water source, forcing the bees to... >> Continue Reading Bees in my pond, waterfall, or pool.

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How to Get Rid of Bees on Humming Bird Feeder

Humming bird feeders may be taken over by honey bees in dry states or in times of heat. Bees in this state are non aggressive as they are away from home, meaning they won't be protective of the feeder itself. If you continued adding just water only to the feeder there's a good chance the bees would keep coming around especially during the warm dry season. If you you'd like to get rid of bees in this case, at evening or early morning remove the feeder for perhaps a week or let it run dry for a week. 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 behave non aggressive to passersby.

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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 experience, if the bees are in a bird house, typically they tend to be less aggressive than bees in an owl box. 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. In most owl boxes we've encountered, the bees are very very protective, perhaps it is because they are up so high and are not use to seeing what would appear to be intruders.

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Bees in Basment

Sometimes bees take up residency in the basement wall or ceiling. Bees may end up inside the basment when attracted to a light that was left on or the natural basement light from a window. Bees that end up in basements include honeybees, wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets. Often the bees are in the basement cieling or wall; some light may be entering into a ceiling or wall void which then attracks the bee in to the basment... Bees in Basment< Bees in Basment

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Staining on Structure and Melted Honey

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 caused from not removing the beehive, perhaps in most cases they are unaware themselves of the problem or perhaps think the bees are yellow jackets. For this reason and other humanitarian reasons many pest control companies do not... >> Continue Reading Mildew stains on stucco from melted honey.

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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 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... >> Continue Reading Bad smell coming from my wall.

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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 >> Continue Reading Find the right price for bee removal.

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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... >> Continue Reading Do it yourself - Removing honey and honeycomb

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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 not sure what kind of bees you have... >> Continue Reading How to kill bees

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Bee proofing - How to Keep Bees Away

Bee proofing or exclusion work to keep bees away is not an easy job and should be done as a preventative method once the honey is removed. It is not recommended to do yourself nor is removing the bees, but this information is for educational purpose. It may be said that nothing counts like experience. Prior to removing a beehive, it can be wise to notify the household, or neighbors that a hive is going to be removed, reasons for this may include: encase someone is allergic, the bees are aggressive, or animals need to be moved. If bees are under the eave of a second story structure, caution should be taken, and when working on roof to roof using a ladder, in fact roof to roof ladder should be avoided and should never be done without a non-slip mat under the latter and a person to hold the ladder which often requires additional bee protection gear.

After opening the area, first the bees & honeycombs are removed and optionaly any old prior hives if you know there location. The next step after the hive is removed is cleaning the smell of the honey and any old hives using scraping tools, followed by common cleaning supplies if desired, and then afterward suppressing the smell with an odor sealer, paint or primer. Repairs and proofing are typically done with caulking, expanding foam, insulation, and galvanized screen or mesh for vented areas. Areas to bee proofed may include vents on the roof or wall, eaves, voids, and chimney structures. Bee proofing (exclusion work) can also be performed on a basement, barn, shed, or jacuzzi.

For [older structures] such as an overhang or a double sided fence were the hive was large or established, it may be best to keep that dead space open or exposed vs. trying to repair and bee-proof. In cases of medium to large voids, after perhaps foaming, it is helpful to cover on top with a galvanized mesh that rodents can't penetrate; otherwise rodents may dig though making a new hole after which the a new colony of bees re inhabit. Experience with using these supplies (especially expanding foam) is very valuable. In extreme cases of exclusion work were a lot of work is being performed, the least focus should typically be placed on the side of the house the sun sets on. If you live in the US or Canada and have questions, or to schedule a visit call our bee hotline, were a local bee remover can help you with your problem and keep them bees away.

Serving all major cities throughout the us including California: Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Jose, San Mateo, San Francisco, Oakland, and Sacramento. Las Vegas & Reno Nevada. Arizona: Tucson, Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa. Texas: DFW, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin, and Houston. Serving Albuquerque, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Colorado Springs, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas city, Lexington, Long Island, Louisville, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, New York NYC, New Jersey, New Orleans, Newark, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Orlando, Palm Beach, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Raleigh, Rhode Island, Santa Ana, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Virginia Beach, and Washington DC. Call the bee removal hotline to confirm availability.

About the Author

In his younger years John grew up around his father's beekeeping hobby and remembers riding along to pick up 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 options for bee removal services in much of the US. Visit the county bee removal page for service area updates.

John is currently working toward developing an open source style business model (open service platform) that promotes the health and growth of small business. John can be contacted here He is currently working on a non-profit style open service platform for small business owners.

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Todd Hamel
No Topic

Hey Bee Man! I have ground bees that bore tons of ant mound hole in my yard and flower beds. They return every year and it seems that thier numbers are increasing. These bees look very similar to a basic honey bee but they are different. I have never been stung by one but unfortunately I am very alerject to bees. I feel the need the get rid of them but I also love what they do for a living. Any thoughts?

Danielle Webster
No Topic
Ojai, CA

Just today I have six or seven bees in my house all of a sudden. Is this a cause for concern? I am not sure if I am allergic but the three times I have been stung over the years I have gotten ill and dizzy with major swelling of sting site. I am a bit worried. What should I do? Thank you.

Steve Tomasiak
No Topic
Oceanside, CA

Hello: We have a neighbor with a large swarm of bees living in their roof. The bees sting us, but the neighbor refuses to have them removed. What can we do? Thank you. Steve Tomasiak

Beekeeper:  Revised: Hey Steve,

Good question, it is not likely the beehive will leave by itself. Bees living I a roof or wall can be difficult to remove. If you pay to have them exterminated, you still have the problem of perhaps 50 lbs of honey and comb that needs to be removed. If left there it tends to cause a lot of trouble.

Bees on a bush or tree can be much less costly to get rid of then bees in a roof or wall. Sometimes a home owner's budget is not prepared for getting rid of bees in a roof or wall. Perhaps the good thing is that the bees did not pick your house :) however you may consider pitching in on the cost to get rid of the bees. Perhaps that would motivate your neighbor to have them removed?

Breaking the cost up into payments is also something to consider if necessary. Sometimes the person living there is a renter and is uncomfortable approaching the owner about paying to get rid of the bees. I have seen a city or county leave a notice of a certain number of days to get the bees removed or a fine is assigned. Hope any f that information is helpful, for any further help feel free to drop us a line 877-723-5467.

No Topic
Chateaugay, New York

I want to know how to get the bees to move from my stereo speaker in the barn and into the bee box we set up next to it.?

Beekeeper:  Stephanie, I am guess that the bees are in the speaker box/acoustic housing, right? Coaxing out a hive is very difficult... it takes beekeepers many tries to get it right, and they have the right tools. If you have a bee suit, or can find the help of a beekeeper, I say it might be worth a try if you want to keep them alive. There is information available from the forums. Feel free to search there for "trapout" But I have to warn you, it isn't a simple task. Good luck.

No Topic
Tucson, AZ

John, thanks so much for answering my question about the bees trying to move in under our shed. I think they got the hint! Anyhow more questions - I read that bees will warn you if you're getting close to their hive by "bouncing" off you. Is this true? Do they ALWAYS give a warning first? How long do you have to leave the vicinity, and if you run away will that trigger an attack? And if a single bee is stinging you, will swatting it cause more bees to attack? Reason I ask all these fearful questions is that we plan to do a lot of hiking around Tucson this summer, and I worry a little about inadvertently getting too close to a hive. We've had a very wet spring, so there are lots more flowers and insects than usual. (I'm also slightly bee-phobic and I don't run very fast anymore, lol) Thanks again!

Beekeeper:  Jutta, those are good questions. For the most part, it's been my experience that the quicker your movements, the more excitable the bees, however sometimes it is a good idea to run if you have aggravated a beehive. Yes, in some circumstances they will bump into you in a protective manner, almost as if they don't want to have to sting. But, this is splitting hairs; a bee may just sting without warning.

Regarding your question that if a single bee stings you; the alarm pheromone often alerts other bees, this is generally when there is a bee hive present.
Generally, bees on flowers do not present any danger because they are foraging and have nothing to protect. Bees usually only are defensive around their hive.

Enjoy the hiking in Tuscon!

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