Bee Removal Types & FAQ
Help! There are bees in my house!
Bees are great, but having them in your house is not! Instead of calling an exterminator, we encourage people to have them safely removed and relocated. Having bees removed prevents having to use harmful poisons and pesticides in your home, and it’s also better for the environment!
The process of removing bees is pretty straight-forward, but it requires a unique level of skill, lots of expertise, and special tools that aren’t available to the average person. Here are the three primary types of removal, how they work, and what you can expect during a removal.
Simple Swarm Removal
What’s a simple swarm collection?
When bees outgrow their hive, they and their queen will look for a new place to live. They’ll leave the old hive, fly around, and settle down in a new location. While scout-bees go looking for a good place to build a new home, the rest of the bees huddle around their queen to keep her safe. That’s why many people find what looks like a giant ball of bees settled somewhere near their home.
Collecting a swarm of bees when they’re in this formation is the easiest kind of removal. The bees aren’t angry or aggressive at this point -- their only concern is keeping the queen safe while other bees look for a new location. At this stage, I can typically scoop the bees into a box that I take home with me.
What does this cost?
Since this type of removal is the easiest and lowest-risk, I can typically do this for little or no money. If you live far from me, I will probably just charge the cost of gas! Exceptions may include situations where the bees are particularly dangerous or hard to reach.
What’s a cut-out removal?
If you’ve found an established hive on your property, it may require a cut-out. Cut outs involve literally cutting out a hive, including the bees and all their comb. It also involves extensive cleanup to remove all wax, honey, and other messy, sticky bee by-products.
There are a few factors that make this kind of removal special. For one, it involves highly-specialized equipment and safety precautions. I need to remove the bees quickly and safely, but I also need to be very particular about how I access the hive. Sometimes, I’ll have to take steps like cutting into a wall, and I need to be sure to avoid load-bearing beams, cables, pipes, and other hazards.
Then there’s the cleaning! You do NOT want comb or other byproducts in your walls. One, leaving comb in your walls can result in a sticky, smelly mess. Old comb can also attract rodents, cockroaches, and other pests. Cut-outs require a lot of cleaning, and that takes time.
The last step is repairing the area so your life can return to normal. If I have to cut into a wall or crawlspace, I’m careful to put everything back how I found it (except the bees, of course!). All told, the removal process can take as little as a few hours or as long as a couple days. If you have a hive on your property, don’t wait to have it removed! The longer the hive has to establish itself, the longer the removal will take.
What does this cost?
Cut-out removals generally range in price from $150 to $300, but removing very extensive hives may cost more. I’ll work with you to evaluate the extent of the work I’ll need to access the hive, how long removal will take, and how much clean-up is involved. Despite all that, you’ll probably still pay less for a bee removal than you would pay to hire an exterminator. Plus, hiring an insured, experienced removal specialist is less expensive than paying for repairs after hiring someone with less experience!
What is a trap-out removal?
Sometimes bees build hives where we can’t access them. If you’ve got an established hive in an inaccessible area (think chimneys, in stucco walls, in the trunk of a tree you don’t want to cut, etc.), you might need a trap-out removal.
Trap-outs involve setting traps that allow bees to leave their hive without being able to return to it. The trap looks a lot like a wire cone, and we set a bee box right next to the cone. When bees leave the hive and can’t re-enter, they’ll settle in the bee box and start to build a new home. Eventually, the established hive will collapse because all the foraging bees are outside. The queen will move into the bee box, and the hive will be happy again.
Once the bees are set up in their new home, I’ll remove the trap. Forager bees will go clean out the old comb and return any pollen, honey, or nectar to the new box. At that point, the old hive is cleaned out, empty, and useless to bees and pests alike.
What does this cost?
This type of removal sounds relatively simple, but it’s also the most time-consuming method and, often, the most expensive one. The process can take weeks or months! This is because it takes a long time for baby bees in the hive to hatch, mature, and leave the hive themselves. During a trap-out removal, I’ll make multiple visits to your property to check on the bees’ progress and make sure everything is going smoothly.
Is Paying for Bee Removal Worth It?
Pesticides are unbelievably dangerous to our bee friends, and we need honey bees to stay safe and healthy. Aside from creating honey, honey bees are valuable pollinators that humans rely upon for everything from fruit to grain to flowers.
Spraying your home with pesticides can also put you, your family, and your pets at risk. Being exposed to pesticides is no joke! Pesticides are also expensive, and you could find yourself paying hundreds of dollars to an exterminator.
It may be tempting to try to remove the bees yourself or call a friend to handle it. I can’t emphasize this enough: do not try to remove a hive of bees by yourself. I’ve spent years learning how bees behave and how to handle them safely. Please don’t put yourself or others at risk by trying to handle bees on your own!
What do I do now?
First, take some photos. The closer you can get to the hive without hurting yourself, the better! Detailed photos help me understand your situation and get the full scope of the situation.
Then, take steps to keep children, pets, and others out of the area. Honey bees aren’t usually very aggressive unless they think they’re under attack. Keeping people away from the area will help prevent the bees from getting riled up and aggressive.
Next, find a bee removal specialist. If you’re in Polk County, Florida, or the surrounding area, I’m happy to work with you to safely remove bees from your property. You can contact me online (link to contact page) to get started! I’ll work with you to learn about your situation and give you a quote for the bee-removal process. It’s a straightforward process, and I’ll explain everything along the way!