| Bee Removal Explained
When using the term Bee Removal (versus live honeybee removal) we are talking about the extermination of honey bees inside a structure and the extraction of their nest. This is an important distinction from both bee control and simple extermination. When dealing with honeybees one must also deal with their honey. If the honey is left in certain structures after eliminating the bees several problems occur.
First, the nest is no longer temperature regulated by the bees themselves. What this means is that the honey they have stored inside their nest will become hot, eventually ferment, and then burst from the cells of honeycomb. When this happens honey will almost always enter the structure into the interior. When honey does this it is nearly impossible to clean and it will destroy sheetrock and other interior materials, and depending on the amount of honey (from a few to nearly a hundred pounds) this can go on for weeks to months.
Secondly, parasites will enter your home. Small hive beetles will come and dine on the now unprotected nest and lay eggs that hatch into a larva very similar to fly maggots which will now enter the structure. These can number in the thousands, a literal invasion. Mice, roaches and ants will also begin a feast, ultimately creating a much bigger problem than the bees themselves.
Lastly, you will have honey bees back into your structure. It's just the nature of bees and their efficiency to try to find a home where other bees have lived. They will find a suitable cavity to create a colony for themselves and some hive parts to begin creating a nest. Back to square one for you, only to pay an exterminator for the pleasure of reliving this all over again.
The solution- always seek out expert professional advice on bee removal from specialized companies who deal with bee, wasp and hornet problems as matter of routine. Never hire a general pest control company who deals with stinging insects as a sideline- they just will not have the knowhow or equipment to deal with something as complex or difficult as a honey bee nest extraction.
Now, when choosing a bee removal company you should ask them several key questions:
- 1. Do you repair my structure after you've removed the bee nest?
- 2. Do you seal up the point of entry so I don't have bees in the future?
- 3. How much are you going to charge?
This will tell you great deal about the company you are speaking with.
For instance, Alltek Bee Removal technicians are trained to seal the structure every time they do a bee job. This saves you from paying for a job twice that should have been done right the first time. Also, they replace any part of a structure they have dismantled while removing a bee nest, typically leaving you with nothing more than a bit a finish work.
Never hire a company who doesn't do this- they may take a hammer to your wall and leave you with a bill for repairs that cost much more than the bee work itself. And finally, when receiving a quote from us you're given a flat fee with a range, and we never exceed our upper quote. Beware of companies that charge by the hour. Their rate of $125 per hour sounds pretty good until you see the bill for six hours work.
Below you'll find a roster of very typical bee problems in Florida that would almost certainly require bee removal, enjoy:
Soffit under eves:
Bees love this spot. The void under a typical soffit is almost exactly the same dimensions as a standard beekeeping box. And bee boxes weren't designed by accident. What our technicians do is pull back the soffit, remove the nest and replace the soffit, sealing it up to prevent future re-infestation. If any step in this process is skipped, you almost certainly will be seeing new bees arriving very soon.
Here is the tell tale sign that honeybees have entered your soffit area.
This is what we find when the soffit is pulled away. This nest looks to be very old and has been there for quite some time. This nest was removed by our technician, the soffit put back in place and then sealed properly.
When we get a call from a mobile home owner complaining of a bee problem it's almost always bees under the mobile inside the vapor barrier. What happens is that over time the vapor barrier separates from the underside of the mobile home and droops down. Because the underside provides shade and is a bit cooler through the summer it's irresistible to honey bee swarms looking for a new home. Our technicians are trained to carefully pull back the vapor barrier and the insulation found above it and remove the honey bee nest entirely. They then attach the vapor barrier back to the mobile and seal up any possible entry way for future swarms. Once again, a permanent solution to a very common bee problem.
If you look closely you can see bees flying around the block under this mobile home. A sure fire sign that honey bees have moved in.
This is what it looks like from the technician's point of view once the vapor barrier and insulation has been pulled back under the mobile home. You can see the last remnants of honeycomb where the technician has scraped it off. He'll clean the rest of the comb off and then gently put the insulation back into place. The vapor barrier goes up next with special attention given to any sags. He then seals up any points of entry that any new swarms might take advantage of, and you're given a job done well.
Wood framed home:
In wood framed homes here in Florida there very often is no, or very little, insulation in the walls. This means that the framing structure behind your siding or interior walls are hollow. This creates a very nice place for honey bees to set up shop. Unfortunately, once they do, and they've had time to create a colony of substantial size, the nest must be removed after extermination. If the nest is left in your walls honey will come into your home destroying the interior and potentially creating a very large bill for damages. To complicate things even further, an unguarded nest invites parasites such as the small hive beetle, roaches, ants and mice. And the worst part about not having the honey comb removed is that bees will return to start the cycle all over again. Don't make this costly error if you own a wood framed home, make sure your bee work is done by a capable and experienced company.
Here is a typical house here in Florida with wood framed construction. You can clearly see the void that was created inside the wall. Honey bee nests must always be removed from this style of home.
Window and door frames in concrete block homes:
Normally in a concrete block home it is impossible to perform a honeybee nest extraction without causing damage to the integrity of the structure. In most instances we would perform bee control instead of bee removal except when bees have decided to make their home around the windows and doors. Some homes have bay windows and large cavities around their doors and windows as a part of the style of the construction. When this happens it is important to find and remove the nest.
Bees love sheds. The style of construction of most sheds in Florida is a raised floor with no skirting around the outside perimeter. Much like mobile homes this creates a shady place for bee swarms to build their nests. Our technicians generally remove a section of the floor to expose the nest and then extract it. They then replace the floor leaving instructions on how to backfill the base of the shed to stop new bees from entering.
Also, much like wood framed homes, sheds don't have insulation in their walls. Again, this creates a perfect cavity for honeybees to build a colony. When this happens our technicians follow the same procedure as for wood framed homes.
These bees chose to build their nest in the wall of this shed. They'd been there a long time indicated by the size of this nest.
Water and electric meters honey bees:
The voids inside an electric or water box are quite a bit smaller than what a normal honey bee swarm would prefer. When we get a call of this nature we are extra cautious. If it turns out that the bees are honeybees instead of wasps or yellow jackets then they are almost always Africanized "killer" bees, and demand the utmost respect. Once the bees are eliminated the nest is removed from the meter and sealed accordingly.
Trees (see bee control):
With trees, unfortunately, there is no easy way to remove a swarm or bee colony once it has entered the trunk without causing enormous damage to the tree. What we do then is spray to exterminate the bees and then seal up the tree to keep out future swarms.