How to Remove Bees

Written by Emmie Sahlan
Updated April 12, 2016
bees on honeycomb
Because bees are endangered, it's important to safely remove them. (Photo by Chris Curry)

Is your home infested by bees? Hire the right bee removal specialist to ensure safe removal and hive relocation.

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If bees are invading your home or property, don't kill them. 

Colony Collapse Disorder is a grave problem that is endangering the population of honey bees that in turn poses a threat to the economic stability of commercial beekeepers and food production and supply in the United States. According to Wired Science, a nationwide survey of honey bee health recorded 31 percent of colony decline between late 2012 and early 2013.

Dennis vanEngelstorp, an entomologist at the University of Maryland who conducted a survey recording bee colony decline, cited that one in three food crops in the United States is directly or indirectly pollinated by bees. A current disturbing situation is that some crops such as almonds, berries, fruit and vegetables may face a shortage of bee pollinators during the growing season, thereby resulting in food supply reduction.

According to academic researchers, beekeepers and Department of Agricultural scientists, a few of the known causes of the use of bee colony decline are the use of pesticides, parasites and poor nutrition. One such example of parasitic interference is the prevalent resistance to the chemicals beekeepers use to control Varroa mites in beehives.

To make matters worse, nutrition-poor diets make bees more prone to diseases carried by parasites. In order to boost colony health, bees are in dire need for better forage in locations where there is a variety of plants. To counteract the CCD problem, you should relocate bees to places where they can safely pollinate and thrive if you find a honeycomb within or outside their property.

Choosing to exterminate the bees and destroy the hive may be an easy solution, but this may result in their extinction, which in turn affects our quality of life in the long run as we depend on bees for honey, beeswax and a steady supply of food crops through the process of pollination.

If you happen to discover a beehive on your property, you have three options.

1. Seal the holes

Sealing holes to prevent more bees from entering a wall cavity can sometimes work, but the honeycomb in the walls will melt in the heat. This in turn causes the honey to penetrate through cracks in the walls, staining them. The honey residue attracts bees in the next season and the issue becomes a vicious cycle.

2. Remove hive and relocate bees yourself

Prepare a temporary substitute location. Find a large wooden box or huge sturdy ceramic plant pot to use as a temporary, alternative location for the bees. Place a covering on the box or pot to keep the rain out and bees from flying out in the removal process.

Find an alternative location for the hive. The spot should preferably be two miles away to prevent the worker bees from returning to the original site and to ensure that they are in proximity to flowering plants for nectar and pollen collection.

Wear bee-proof clothing. Wear light-colored and smooth-textured clothing as bees are known to be aggravated by dark-colors and rough clothing. Suitable clothing includes a beekeeper's veil and leather gloves for face and hand protection. A bee smoker or burning incense can calm the bees and decrease the likelihood of them stinging.

Use simple tools. If you find the hive in a tree in your property, slit open the affected section of the branch housing the hive. You can then transfer the exposed comb and bees to a bee box or ceramic pot with a lid. If you find a beehive in a cavity of a wall, expose the beehive by removing the paneling or enlarging the cavity before using simple tools such as a spade or shovel to carefully dislocate the hive. Once dislocated, quickly place the hive in the box or pot and cover it. Ensure that the hive is not tipped or the nectar pots will spill. Take the hive to a location where the bees can pollinate and thrive.

3. Call a bee specialist

If all else fails, consider hiring a bee specialist. A bee removal expert has the right training, expertise and equipment needed for safe bee removal and relocation without posing any threat to the homeowner or the bees. Ensure that the bee removal expert you hire has the right license and insurance to perform the bee removal operation.

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