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"How do I get rid of bees" is a question many ask when honey bees show up in wrong places, and sometimes even when bees are in the right places. As a bee removal specialist, I'm asked how to get rid of bees thousands of times each year!
This how-to article targets the most common unwanted places beehives move in to and provides solutions for how to get rid of bees. It also briefly explains why the bees choose that spot, expels myths of why you got bees, and makes clear how to keep from getting bees it in the future.
First I must annoy you with my two cents. Bees provide a startling one-third (1/3) of our entire food source through pollination as well as much of the colors in our world! Also, you should know that both Africanized bees and European bees sting ONLY when threatened, or when defending their home.
Bee Id Chart
Are Bees Dangerous?
Why did i geet bees?
Can I find a beekeeper for free bee removal?
Get rid of bees in ground
How to get rid of bees on a humming bird feeder
How to get rid of honeybees in a pond, waterfall or pool
Loud buzzing on my tree or shrubbery
How to get rid of a swarm of bees on my tree
Getting rid of bees in tree trunks
Bees in my bird house or owl box
Bees in my house or wasps up against the window
How to get rid of bees in walls, attics, under house, eaves, fence, jacuzzi, or shed floor hot!
Dead bees on the outside of my house
How to get rid of bees in my chimney
Bees in vent or air duct
Bees in basement
Staining on Structure and Melted Honey
Bad smell coming from my wall
Prices and Cost of Bee Removal (structural bee removal)
Do it yourself, removing the honey and bees in the wall
How to kill bees?
Bee proofing - how to keep bees away
Call the bee hotline
Ask a Question / Leave Your Feedback!
What kind of bee is it? new! (upload your bee picture for ID)
Get help with a bee problem - Submit a Photo new! (get help, get answers or a quote)
Handyman and Carpenters - Do it yourself - DIY
In the great majority of cases you may find honeybees are fairly easy to get along with. While Africanized bees have been largely overhyped by the media, these bees (and European honey bees) can be dangerous. For example, recently we've been involved with a much greater amount of 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 a car backing up, the bees swarmed out and into the woman's 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 20 times before making it from his yard to his house, having twisted is ankle along the way he made it by at last crawling in the house.
Last week I received a call late in the day to get rid of bees in owl box where a horse was attacked by bees and stung hundreds of times. 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. His son was fine, but as the dog was tied nearby, he was told by the vet it received 2000 stings and had a 50/50 chance to live. Often there is a story behind agressive honeybees and bee attacks that doesn't get told, this can cause misinformation leading to a Inaccurate outlook.
It is said the normal kill ratio for a human being is 10 stings per pound, so about 1,800 stings would typically 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)
If you're reading this, you most likely have bees or scout bees on your property. This is caused when a beehive becomes too large and the workers can't communicate as easily with the queen. Some of the bees will begin building a handful of queen cells on the honeycomb. When the queen lays the larvae inside the cells, the worker bees will feed these larvae a special protein rich diet "royal jelly". Once a new baby queen emerges, this queen will kill the other unborn queens, or if two queens emerge at the same time it is said they'll fight to the death.
It is my understanding that at this point that the older queen from the established hive, leaves the newly born queen taking half the bees with her. This is called a swarm; a beehive in transition of moving to or seeking a new home. In this state the bees carry honey with them and are [not aggressive] as they have no home or young to protect. Typically the swarm will rest on a bush or a tree for a few days as they search for what they feel is a suitable home. When travelling as a swarm, -the bees will move in a circular swarming motion towards their destination. It is not common to see this peaceful phenomenon of bees in migration, though it does happen more in the spring. It may also happen in the fall if the hive feels it does not have enough honey to support all the bees; however the swarm is less likely to survive than a swarm in spring.
Before bees choose a destination they send out scout parties to different locations looking for a suitable home. A party of scout bees is typically 5 to 75 bees. If the bees like the location, more bees will come to scout. Often this is happening without the knowledge of homeowners or management.
In the 1980's and before it is believed there were more hobbyist beekeepers, it was a bit easier to find beekeepers that would collect bees for free. Now, with Africanized bees, diseases, time restraints, liabilities, and the difficulty of where the bees may be, it's not as easy to find someone who wants to remove your bees for free. It takes a large amount of time and effort to remove a beehive if it's in a house or structure, not to mention any repair work if needed. It also takes time to turn that beehive into a productive, healthy bee colony. Even after a beehive is removed structurally, if special step aren't taken, in the future there's a good chance a hive will return to a location nearby. For areas Adkins provides help with bee removal visit the county bee removal page to see if service is available. This should include most of the US and Canada.
If you're trying to get rid of bees in California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, or Florida (counties with Africanized Bees) chances are no one will collect your bees for free, even on a bush or tree. Select the map for a larger view of the africanized honeybee (AHB) movement, included is a brief history of honeybee removal in the US. For help with bee removal call the bee removal hotline or read on to learn more about how to get rid of bees.
Get Rid of Bees in Ground
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... read more - Bees in ground.
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 passerby's.Get Rid of Bees Top
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... read more - Bees in my pond, waterfall, or pool.
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.
How to Get Rid of a Swarm of Bees on My Tree
When a beehive gets too large, the hive splits in two. Half of the colony (4,000-6,000 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 basket ball 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... read more - Get rid of swarm on tree.Get Rid of Bees Top
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... read more - Bees in tree trunk or hollows.
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.
Bees in House or Wasps up Against the Window
The misunderstanding can be that 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.
... read more - Bees in my house.
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... read more - Dead bees outside my house.
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... read more - Bees in chimney.
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 ... read more - Bees in vent.
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... read more - Bees in wall, roof, and eaves.
Get Rid of Bees Top
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
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... read more - Bad smell coming from my wall.
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... read more...Find the right price for bee removal.Get Rid of Bees Top
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... read more - Do it Yourself - Removing honey and honeycomb
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... read more - How to kill bees
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 and neither is removing the bees, but is more for educational purposes. It may be said that nothing counts like experience. Prior to removing a beehive, in most cases it is wise to notify the property owner, 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, great caution should be taken when working on roof to roof using a ladder, in fact it should be avoided and should never be done without a non slip mat under the latter and a back up person holding the ladder which often requires additional bee protection gear.
First the bees, honeycombs, and honey are removed in addition to any old 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. The areas to bee proofed may include vents on the roof or wall, eaves, voids, and chimney structures. Bee proofing can also be performed on basements, sheds, and jacuzzis.
For [older structures] such as an overhang or a double sided fence were the hive was large or old, it may be best to keep that dead space open or exposed vs. trying to repair and bee-proof it. 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 make a new hole after which the bees use as an entrance. Experience using these supplies (especially expanding foam) is very valuable. In extreme cases of exclusion work were alot 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 give us a call, we can help you with your bee problem and keep those bees away.
In his younger years John grew up around his father's beekeeping hobby and remembers riding along to pickup 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 bee removal services in much of the US including California, Texas, Florida, Arizona, Denver Co, and Atlanta GA, Washington, and New York visit the county bee removal page for service area updates.
John is currently working toward developing an open source style business model that promotes the health and growth of small business. John can be contacted here John@AdkinsBees.com He is currently interested in non profit, open source, startup businesses solutions that have positive impacts.
Adkins Bee Removal - Welcome
Honeybee Removal Info
Where can I get a quick online quote?
I found bee activity on my house. I've sealed up the opening real well. Will this do the trick?
I have a lot of flowers in my yard, is this causing the bees to move onto my property?
Why do I keep getting bees?... What's going on?
Self help - bees in wall, eave, or attic.
More Common Questions
Adkins currently provides service help in these major cities
Help with getting rid of bees in these major cities in the US & Canada: Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ontario. San Jose, San Mateo, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento. Reno, Tucson, Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, DFW, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin, Houston. New areas include: 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, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Raleigh, Rhode Island, Santa Ana, Seattle, St. Louis, Tacoma, Tampa Bay, Trenton, Virginia Beach, and Washington DC. Areas in Canada include Toronto Ontario, Montreal, and Vancouver BC, for these and other areas call to confirm availability.