Types of Bees and Hives
There are several different species of bee in the world, and the most likely varieties to be found in your home and on your property include:
- Bumblebees: Though these bees are actually larger than many other types, they live in smaller colonies, with around only 50 bees per hive or nest at a time. Bumblebees are commonly found in or near the ground, making their home in yards and under decks or patios.
- Carpenter bees: Solid black in color with no stinger, carpenter bees burrow deep inside wood to make their homes and are often found in attics and decks. These bees have the ability to cause structural damage to your home if not removed quickly enough.
- Honey bees: Highly social creatures, honey bees live in swarms as large as 50,000 to a single hive. These bees live all year round, but are often dormant in the colder seasons. Honey bees build their nests in attics, chimneys, crawl spaces, trees, and walls.
The type of bees you have determine the difficulty of removing them. Bumblebees and carpenter bees are fairly easy to remove, as they have smaller nests and the bees are more likely to be in easily accessible locations. Honey bees prefer more contained, confined spaces that make it more difficult to remove them.
Bee Hive Removal
Having bees around in general is a good thing, but that starts to change when they set up shop on your property or in your home. Bees often leave a mess or cause damage to the areas they inhabit, not to mention the harm to be done if you or anyone on your property are allergic to bees. It is always best to contact a professional to remove a hive as soon as possible. The only way to solve a problem with bees is to entirely remove the hive, with the method of removal or extermination being based on the type of bees you’re dealing with and the size of the hive.
Bees play an integral role in the environment, so whenever possible, the best route to take is to remove them without causing any harm. This can be difficult if the insects have taken up residency within the walls of your home, but it is still achievable. Many companies work to reach the hive and smoke the bees (which calms and quiets them), then remove the hive and all of the bees. Typically, once a hive has been removed, it is taken to a beekeeper to be cared for. Since bees are endangered, you may actually have a harder time finding a company that won’t perform this service.
However, if there are no nearby beekeepers to take the bees and there are no regulations requiring them to be removed while alive, extermination may be the only option. This is done with a chemical spray that not only kills the existing bees, but prevents new ones from taking over the hive. Whether you choose live removal or extermination, be sure that the service you go through carries insurance and is licensed by your state’s agricultural department.
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How Much Does it Cost to Have a Bee Hive Removed?
The cost of removing a bee hive depends on the type of bee, severity of the problem, location of the hive, and the location of your home. Here is a general pricing guide to provide an idea of what you can expect to pay for bee hive removal:
- An inspection must be performed to determine the size of the bee infestation and the type of bees you have, which comes at an average cost between $150 and $250.
- Outdoor beehive removal has an average cost between $75 and $100 per hour for a single worker, with additional assistants or exterminators adding between $20 and $25 per hour.
- Prices increase if the bee hive is inside the structure of the home, such as within the ceiling, floors, or walls. Expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,000 for interior bee hive removal and necessary repairs.
Some beekeepers may offer a reduced rate if you have honey bees, as they can use them for their own business.
Preventing Bee Infestations
There are some steps you can take to prevent bees from making your home their own or to prevent them from returning. It is a good idea to seal up or close off potential entry points and nesting areas, such as roof lining, rain gutters, A/C units, and behind brickwork. This is best done by a professional that is able to identify all the potential locations for a bee hive to flourish.
If you have had bees removed, it is important to keep them from coming back and to keep other pests from inhabiting the bees’ abandoned home. Before you seal up any cavities or entry points, be sure to remove any dead bees, eggs, honey, and wax as well as clean and deodorize the area. When looking to prevent the return of bees or other pests, be sure to ask the service that removed them what you can do to keep the insects away.