Bee Removal

How to Prevent a Bee Problem

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Note: If you are trying to prevent recurring bee problems, visit the recurring bee problems page.
The info listed below is for preventing a new bee infestation.
How to get rid of bees


Ask the BeemanQ&A

Identify the bee type
Though the topics below are specific to honeybees, info is also provided regarding wasps & hornets except where noted below. Knowing what kind of bee you have can help with preventing a bee problem and knowing what to do. Visit the bee id chart to help with bee identification. Note: All bees & wasps retire or sleep during the evening.

Best times to inspect
Best time of day to inspect is 10am to 5pm daylight hrs, not early morning & late evening. Other less effective times to inspect are with rain, heavy wind, or unusual heat.

Tree / Bush
A new swarm of honeybees on a tree or bush may pick up and leave the same day or within a few days. A new swarm is typically the size of a football or basketball and non-aggressive. Messing with them can confuse them and cause the bees to stay longer. As for wasps & hornets, the nests are always established. Unlike honeybees, wasps & hornets abandon the nests during winter commonly returning the next spring.

Loud buzzing
Loud bee buzzing on a tree or bushes, is common in the autumn /fall season. This is accompanied by bees uniformly buzzing all around the tree or bushes. Typically no hive will exist. The buzzing sound can be intimidating, though these bees are non-aggressive as there is no home to protect. Within the month the bee activity should subside. Visit the full article bees buzzing on shrubbery to learn more.

House / Building
This section is specific to honeybees. It can be very helpful to prevent a bee swarm from moving into the structure.

Unlike wasps & hornets, honeybees start each new hive with thousands of bees. If you recently noticed a handful of bee activity on the house or near a structure, one of these two possibilities exist:
A beehive has moved in,
or you have honeybees that are scouting.

You can tell if bees have already moved in:
▪ Bees floating around the structure as if inspecting can mean the hive has not moved in.
▪ Bees entering though also buzzing around a little, can mean a hive moved in and bees are getting oriented.
▪ Any bees entering with yellow pollen sacs attached to the back of their legs means the hive has already moved in.
▪ A slight stain around the entrance may indicate the hive is established.
▪ With established hives, a light stain on the structure may exist from were the bees repeatedly land and enter.
▪ Bees that are aggressive or protective of the location means they have a hive.
Note:  friendly bees does not mean no hive exists.

If you think the bees have already moved in, call the bee hotline or request a Request a callback.
For self-help with bees that have already moved into the structure, jump to the section options to removing the bees.

Bees that have not yet moved in:
If the above conditions are confirmed incorrect; none of them are apparent, then preventing bees from moving into the structure can save lots of time & money. To prevent a potential bee problem, apply wasp or hornet spray were the bees are inspecting. It should not require an excessive amount.

Within a very short time scout bee activity will stop if the bees had not yet moved in. Note: try not to spray the bees, so they can return to the hive and instruct on finding a new location. Take care if the hive is established, spraying may anger the bees if a nest exists. If the bees become angry, a hive is likely within the structure.

You can re-inspect the area anytime that same day or the next day, see best times to inspect. If after you've sprayed the bee activity dosnt diminish, that would indicate the hive was already moved in. Most times that is the case. Trying to trap the bees in structure can create more problems and you can end up with bees in the house, especially with larger hives.

Not to long ago while visiting at my moms house, in the backyard i happened to look up at the roof eave and noticed a fair amount of honeybee activity, surprisingly the bees had not moved in. After spraying the area with a hose and afterwards with a little insect spray the activity stopped. Luckly she avoided what could have been a costly experience with a hive moving into the roof structure.

Ask the BeemanQ&A

Prevent bees from moving in Chimney
Bee activity at the top of a chimney are likely either a hornet nest, or honeybees. With honeybees, this is commonly accompanied with a small amount of bees getting in the house and then flying to the window. The bees getting in the house is mostly a good thing, it alerts you of a potential problem. If acting quickly, you may be able to avoid the bees from moving in.

Lighting a fire to make the bees go away can cause problems, if the bees are established the honey can run down the sides of the chimney or flu creating long term ongoing bee problems. If many bees are getting inside your house consider temporarily sealing the fireplace with a trash-bag & tape.

To tell if the bee nest has moved into the chimney, and or to prevent bees from moving in, read the section above on how to prevent bees from moving into house. If after reading that, you discover the bees have already moved into the chimney, this full article can help with how to get rid of bees in chimney, with helps, based on the type of chimney you have. Your also welcome to call the bee removal hotline.

Preventing a bee hive on Porch or Patio
Bees that are buzzing around a porch or patio during the day time, indicates a beehive is nearby. A porch or patio with dead bees do not mean a hive is present. Porch or patio lights with timers that turn on early in the morning or late in the evening can confuse & attract bees when within the bees flight path. Lights that are on a timer can be adjusted to prevent the problem.

If that is not the case, read the section above prevent bees from moving into house can help with preventing a bee problem.

Ask the BeemanQ&A

Preventing bees at Water Source
During the day time you may experience honeybees at a water source or were water run off exists. These areas can also include: a water faucet, pool, pond, drinking or soda fountain, and hummingbird feeders. Typically no hive will exist, the bees are simply hydrating. These bees are non-aggressive and not protective of the area. After the hot season with limited water sources, the bee activity typically subsides. Visit bees at water source for more in depth reading.

Trapping bees in structure
Regarding honeybees, established hives have many thousands of bees. Trapping the bees in the structure commonly will cause the bees to dig back out and can also end up digging inside the house!  That is true for all types of bees. Though trapping honeybees in a structure can cause honey to melt while the bees are digging out. Melted honey can cause structural staining. Read the topic above preventing bees from moving into house for helpful info on preventing a bee problem or removing bee nest.

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Prevent a recurring bee problem
Preventing recurring honeybee problems typically requires opening the structure and removing the bee hive. Consider also removing any beehives that have been left in the structure. After the hive is removed, treating the area with a oder sealer /paint to suppress the sent, and sealing gaps & cracks is important. Structures facing the sunrise are more common to get a beehive. The sun warms the nest in the morning after a long night.

Wasps, yellow jackets and hornets abandon their nests at winter, then return at spring to the nearby area to rebuild. They start the spring as a single individual queen, unlike honeybees that live year round. Wasps, yellow jackets and hornets are considered a natural form of pest control to gardens and crops.

The amount of water, flowers and or shrubbery on the property does not increase the chances of a beehive moving on to the property. Not removing honeycomb and the hive is the main reason bees return to a structure.

DIY: Options to remove a bee nest yourself
Do it yourself bee removal can be very difficult. Especially as honeybees have thousands of bees, and more hatching daily. Commonly when the bees are inside a structure, handling it yourself can makes the problem worse. Additionally with honeybees, unless the hive is removed, it creates more problems from rodents, pests, and future bee problems.

Removing a beehive within a structure yourself is especially challenging, it requires protective gear, supplies, and carpentry tools. It is common for bees to return after the removal. Having funds available to remove the hive is a good first choice, your welcome to call the bee removal hotline, or request a Request a callback.

If you are low on funds, other options may exist regarding free bee removal without repair or warrantee. To read more about diy bee removal do it yourself bee removal of a live beehive.

Ask the BeemanQ&A

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