How to Get Rid of Bees

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How to solve a bee problem
(with Q&A)
John Adkins

As a bee specialist, I'm often asked how to get rid of bees!
Below are common areas bees move into. Helps are provided on how to get rid of bees per location.
Learn how to prevent bees before they move in, and how to keep from getting bees in the future! 
Each topic includes Question & Answer.

Bee Id Chart
Wasp Id Chart

Bee swarm
Free bee removal
Prevent a Bee Problem new
Are bees dangerous?

Get rid of bees from Location:
Tree / bush:  Loud buzzing
Tree / bush:  Bee swarm or beehive
Tree trunk /tree hallow
Bees in house /on window
Wall, eave, attic, fence, shed
Dead bees outside of house
Vent /Air duct
Bees in ground
Pool, pond or fountain
Humming bird feeder
Bird house /Owl box
Honey stains
Bad smell
Prices /cost of bee removal (structural bee removal)
Trap out - Structural alternative
Do it yourself bee removal (DIY)
How to kill bees?
Keep bees from returning

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Bee Swarm
Honeybees often split off from their existing beehive colony, and migrate as a swarm of bees to a new location. This can be observed as thousands of bees traveling as a swarm with a sort of circular motion to keep together. If you are nearby you'll hear a fairly loud buzzing /humming noise. While swarming to a new location the bees are non-aggressive. Swarms that split may have come from a beekeepers apiary bee box or from a natural setting of nature.

Before bees swarm, scout bees will search for a suitable home. A party of scout bees are a handful or more of bees. The bees may appear as floating around a structure as if looking for something; actually the bees are inspecting the area. If the location is preferred bees move in with the swarm. Usually this happens without anyones knowledge.

A migrating bee swarm may rest on a bush or tree for up to a few days before continuing on. When resting, the swarm can be the size of a football or basketball and kind of beard shaped containing some 2,000 to 7,000 bees! Harassing the bees during this phase may confuse the bees causing them to stay longer.

Continue reading »  Bee Swarms

Free Bee Removal
Throughout the U.S. bees on public property are handled by the city, county or state. Sometimes cities will contract this out to a private bee or pest company. Often a pest company is used if the city cannot find a live bee remover that holds the cities insurance requirements. When bees are on private property, it is typically considered the homeowners responsibility.

In the U.S. some counties provide free bee removal on private property from locations such as bushes, trees, or when the bees are out in the open. These are usually large cities were...

Continue reading »  Free bee removal

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Prevent a Bee Problem

Preventing a bee problem can be very helpful. Bee activity is the cause of one of two possibilities:
     A beehive has moved in,
     or you have visiting honeybees that are scouting.

You can tell the difference between visiting scout bees and bees that have already moved in. You can prevent a potential bee problem...
Continue reading »  Prevent a Bee Problem

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.

Some time ago we were involved with a much greater amount of angry or feral bee activity than normal. During this time, we performed bee removal from a shed, where two sheep were attacked by bees, one lived the other did not. Shortly after, we performed a bee removal on a gas station lamp post. The pole was accidentally bumped with the back of a car, the bees swarmed and stung people nearby. A week later bee removal was performed 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 his ankle along the way. All of this within the same county.

Not long after, a call was received late in the day to get rid of an owl box full of bees. Horses nearby were attacked by bees, one was stung was a great deal of times, getting injured and requiring a vet. The bees had been in the owl box for some time. Usually there is a story that doesn't get told with aggressive honeybees and bee attacks; this can cause misinformation leading to an inaccurate outlook. However bees can be dangerous, and consideration should be taken when beehives are present.

The normal kill ratio for a human is said to be 10 stings per pound, meaning 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.

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Loud buzzing on tree or bushes   (For a swarm on a tree see next topic below)

Loud buzzing around the tree or shrubbery often happens around the autumn and fall season (Sep-Nov). Many spring flowers have come and gone and the bees are busy with the few remaining late-blooming trees and shrubs. These bees typically covering the nectar or blossoms of the tree or shrubbery uniformly accompanied by loud buzzing!

The bees are gathering remaining pollen & nectar for the winter season. This may look and feel intimidating to a home owner, especially if someone has gotten stung in an unlikely accident, as bees are non-aggressive during this foraging process. Getting rid of these bees can be difficult. It is generally recommended to wait it out. This temporary phase may last a few weeks.

Although loud and intimidating, the area is not the bee's domain and they have no interest in defending or protecting it. If you would like to get rid of the bees, consider trimming back the tree after the bee activity has subsided perhaps within a few weeks. In extreme cases were an immediate solution is needed, you can get rid of the bees by trimming the tree very early morning before sunrise. If you think there is a beehive on the tree or bushes read bee swarm on tree below.

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Bee Swarm on Tree

When a beehive gets too large the hive splits. Half of the bee colony (2,000 to 6,000 bees) move out traveling as a swarm, creating a visually bizarre phenomenon. While searching for their new home bees often rest on a bush or tree for up to 3 days. A bee swarm in this phase is usually about the size of a football or basketball with no honeycomb.

New bee swarms that have not yet started a home are non-aggressive. (all honeybees are non-aggressive during this phase whether Africanized honeybees or not). This is because they have no home or domain to defend and there is no...

Continue reading »  Bee swarm on tree.

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Bees in Tree Trunk

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. An established beehive in a tree trunk may consist of 5,000 to 20,000 bees. Normally the cost of equipment, in addition to the time you take to learn how to accomplish a successful removal with exclusion to keep the bees from returning far exceeds the cost of paying a bee removal specialist. Bees tree trunks can be removed alive by trap-out...

Continue reading »  Bees in tree trunk or hollows.

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Bees in House - On the Window

Bees getting into the house may be scout bees looking to set up a home. Sometimes the beehive is attached to the structure of the house and 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, if left alone they eventually becoming lethargic/ tired and die 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 and on the floor or carpet. What likely happened is a hive moved into the premises.

In both cases mentioned above, this can happen when a party of scout bees first begin inspecting an attic, crawl space, or chimney, the bees can get lost and end up in the house. Them moving toward the light in the house expecting to get back outside they often end up in the house by accident.

In autumn and fall season hornets and wasps can end up inside the house. Late in season nest are at their largest, this can cause more of them to get inside the house by accident. There are some thing to be careful of...

Continue reading »  Bees in my house

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Dead Bees Outside of House

Dead bees along the outside of your house or building can be signs that a hive of bees is planning on moving in or has already moved in and are living in or near the wall, eave or structure. An established hive typically has 2,000 to 20,000 bees). In some cases upon observation you may also see dead or what look like sick bees on the ground or being carried out by one or two bees and dropped somewhere, or just the occasional bee stumbling out and dying....

Continue reading »  Dead bees outside of house

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How to Get Rid of Bees in a Chimney

Bees in chimney tops can be a challenge to resolve. New beehives, prior to moving into the chimney will send out scouting parties of 10 to 100 bees in search of a new home and chimneys can appear to be just that.

When bees have not moved in yet, but are scouting, you may find some bees inside the house up against the window in a room somewhat near the chimney, alive, dead, or lethargic. Scout bees inspecting a chimney often wander too far down the flue and gets lost inside the house. At this point they fly to the window looking for a way out.

If the bee swarm has not yet moved in, lighting a fire can temporarily keep the bees away, though if there is a beehive in the flue of the chimney this can cause melted honey and long-term problems. To get rid of the bees (if they have not moved in yet) lighting a fire is not recommended unless you are certain the hive has not arrived and it does not always work. It can be much wiser to...

Continue reading »  Bees in chimney

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Bees in vent or air duct

Honeybees in a vent or air duct of a building or house can be difficult to get rid of. Unlike a wasp, a honeybee hives consist of many thousands of bees. Within just a few days a brand new colony may build several sheets of honeycomb near or inside the vent or air duct. Getting rid of bees in a vent or air duct is typically requires expert help.

In attempts to get rid of bees, people turn on the vent and sometimes make different 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 the wood or stucco creating new openings. Unless the bees have not moved in yet and are simply scouting the structure ...

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, or shed floor

Honey bees buzzing around the roof line (eave, facial, freeze block), or a garage, wall, fence, jacuzzi or a similar structure, likely indicates a beehive exists. If the bees are not in a very noticeable area, it is likely they have been there a good while. Knowing what kind of bee it is can help see bee identification and wasp id. There is very little wasp active during January to April.

Observing If honey bees appear to be floating around the structure as if inspecting, 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 but are also going in and out of an opening and there doesn't seem to be heavy traffic, watch the bees entering. If returning honeybees entering an opening have yellow pollen sacs on the back of their legs, then there is very likely a beehive inside - typically with thousands of bees.

If there are no yellow pollen sacs on their legs, a hive may have just arrived or they are just scouting the location. In this case, where bees are floating around, or have no yellow pollen sacs on their legs, to get rid of the honey consider grabbing a can of wasp or hornet spray and apply a single coat over the outer area in question. If after 15 minutes bee activity persists or worsens...

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. The bees are non-aggressive, simply foraging away from home; meaning they won't be protective of the bird feeder. If you you'd like to get rid of the bees, 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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Bird House / Owl Box

Bird houses and owl boxes make great homes for bees, It is common to find honeybees 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 many owl boxes we've encountered, the bees are very protective, perhaps it is because they are up so high and are not use to seeing what would appear to be intruders.

If you plan to removing the bees yourself, consider the bees aggressiveness, and were you plan to put them. Wait tell all the bees have all returned in the evening or very early morning. Protective gear is very helpful.

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Bees in Basement

Sometimes bees take up residency in the basement wall or ceiling. Bees may end up inside the basement 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 ceiling or wall; some light may be entering into a ceiling or wall void which then attacks the bee in to the basement...

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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 or cost of bee removal can take some work. This is because it is not a common occurrence to get bees. It can take a little research along with perhaps a few free quotes. This can be especially true were Africanized bee (hybrid bees) exist.

For a bee hive or nest out doors (on a bush, tree, etc) the cost of removal should be reasonable.
However with bees (bee id chart) that are in the structure (see bee removal from wall, roof, or eave) it is important to remove the honeycomb and often repair and do exclusion work (bee proof) that can effect cost.

Continue reading »  Find the right price for bee removal

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Trap Out

When a bee hive needs to be removed structurally; the alternative to opening the structure is called a trap out. Commonly trap-out should only be used when opening the structural isnt an option. Trapout involves configuring a trap so bees that exit cannot renter.

An empty bee box is set nearby to encourage the bees to move into the bee box. Afterward a different beehive is set near the opening; the bees smell the honey from the hive that was trapped out, then enter the structure and day by day extract the honey out of the structure and into their beehive. It can take a week or two to complete the process. Trap out have some disadvantages.

Continue reading »  Trap Out method

Do it Yourself - Removing the Hive and Honeycomb

Do it yourself bee removal is especially helpful when you live in an area were no beekeeper is available to remove the bees. Other good reasons for DIY bee removal may include learning a new skill for supplemental income (getting paid to remove bees) or to simply start a hobby.

Note: The information on this page is specific to ... Continue reading »  Do it yourself bee removal

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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...

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How to keep Bees from returning

Recurring ongoing bee problems can be very frustrating and expensive. With honeybees removing the honeycomb is critical, otherwise bees can return regularly. With wasps & hornets removing the nest is less critical, as they dont keep honey. The bee id chart can help with bee identification.

Honeybee hives are active year round. Critters that are not include wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, bumble & carpenter bees. Those critters start in spring time as individual queens. They commonly return to same places as the previous year. Problem areas for keeping bees away include:
inside of structure
nest in the ground
exposed nests under house eave

Continue reading »  How to Keep Bees Away

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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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Ask the Bee Man
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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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