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How to get rid of bees

Bees in vent or air duct
Honey Bees 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 have a several sheets of honeycomb near or inside the vent or air duct. Getting rid of bees in a vent or air duct is typically done by extermination or preferably live removal and relocation.

Less effective methods
In attempts to get rid of bees, people turn on the vent and sometimes try sealing, taping, or closing up the vents. 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 there's no easy solution to getting rid of the honeybees.

How to tell if bees have not moved in
If the bees are floating around a vent opening as if inspecting, and you think believe it is new, a layer of wasp spray on the area will typically deter any scouting bees looking for a home to bring the new colony (have not yet moved in). If you have sprayed, and after 15 to 30 minutes if be activity continues, it is very likely the hive has already moved in or been there for some time. Visit how to prevent a bee problem to learn how to keep the bees from moving in.

How to tell if bee hive exists
If a beehive has moved in, the honeybees that are returning and entering to the hive with some bees having yellow sacs of pollen on the back of their legs. Additionally with bees that are very established, a noticeable darker shade may appear around the area were they are entering, this occurs from having landed on that area so many times while entering the hive. If they are wasps that you are seeing this can be perhaps less of a challenge. Visit the wasp id chart or the bee id chart for help with identification.

How to tell if bees have not moved in
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.

Were is the nest
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.

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Bees in 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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