Do it yourself - Bee Removal

If bees are attached to the house, trying to remove honey and the bees yourself can be a challenge if the hive is alive. A beehive may have 3,000 to 30,000 bees, and 5 to 100lbs of honey! If the hive has been exterminated it can still be a very difficult task. It's typically a messy job and after you finish repairs it is very likely that bees will still be attracted to that structure. Generally, when bees smell an old hive in a structure they think anywhere on that structure is a good place to build a home. If you're trying to do it yourself, plan or expect to get stung. If the hive was killed, bees may continue to return to the hive for about a week, in addition hundreds of new bees are hatching daily in an established hive. After a week, bees from the original hive should be gone; however bees from other colonies smell the melting honey and may come to free-load, these are called robber bees, and are very common. Bees from the original hive can be very aggressive, while robber bees are non-aggressive as it is not their home. Bees returning with yellow sacs of pollen on the back of their legs will almost always not be robber bees. Common tools used are: bee suit and head vail, thick gloves that reach the elbows, a bee scraper tool, a smoker, and construction equipment. Contacting neighbors or people nearby where people may walk by or be close is a good idea. If people have dogs confined or in the backyard it is wise to inform them to expect aggravated bees. If trying to exterminate thee beehive, you can expect very angry bees. If removing the bees alive, smokers are a great help to calm the bees. You will want to have a bee-box and a place to keep the hive. Removing or extracting the honeycomb while keeping the bees on thee honeycomb seems to work best; vacuums typically damage the bees and are found less effective. The bees tend to crowd a round or follow the scent of the queen, getting the queen in the bee-box is most effective by disturbing thee bees as little as possible while removing each honeycomb with the bees on the comb. The next article below covers repairs. If you are trying to save a buck or if you know a handyman or carpenter that can help, have the bee man, remove the honeycomb and leave you instructions on bee proofing with you or to the person doing repairs. However, it is typically considered much more effective if the knowledge bee remover also performs the repair and provides a warrantee against the bees returning. This is considered a small repair which most U.S states do not require a contractor’s license. Though some larger or commercial entities may require insurance of a minimal amount. If you're a handyman or carpenter, visit the Handyman / Carpenter's page Dallas number to the central office. If you are a beekeeper, visit the beekeepers page .

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If the honeycomb is not removed, it will typically attract bees back each year. If it has been sealed off and the bees can't get in to the same spot, they will simply search around that structure until they find an additional opening. At times home owners buy homes that beehives have been killed in over and over without proper removal of the honeycomb. I was once referred to a lady from a nearby candle shop. The beekeeper that used to extract or eradicate her bees, was no longer around. He was used several times for bees in the structural columns, however each year they returned or to nearby places. He never spoke to her about removing the honeycombs. It got to a point where we were being called out nearly monthly for additional bee hives. I believe she had at one point about 12 or more established beehives living in the structure of the home. Normally a house or building should get bees every 20-30 or so years, but if the hive is not removed from the structural, bees tend to come back every year. There are solutions at this point but they can be costly. For more about removing, cleaning and bee proofing visit how to keep bees away.

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Kay Boeger
The aftermath
Fort Worth, Texas

Have a friend with an active hive in his wall and he's neglected the problem for too long. I'm an insect lover, so I hate to kill them, but they are becoming more aggressive lately and we need them gone. I thought honey bees were becoming rare due to CCD - is there some kind of list of beekeepers that will remove the hive (for a minimum amount of money!)

Beekeeper:  Kay, Good question. Here is our contact for bee removal in Fort Worth, and he should be able to work with you on a price. Here is my opinion on finding a beekeeper who wants bees

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