How To Get Rid of Bees?

When you come across bees in your yard, your first reaction may be to grab the nearest can of pesticide. Before you jump right into the role of bee eradicator, there are a few things you should know about removing bees.

Identify the Problem

Honey Bees in Nature

Honey Bees in Nature

The first step in getting rid of bees is to make sure that the insect you see really is a bee.  Honey bees are generally brownish orange in color, with bodies that look fuzzy.  These bees provide great agriculture benefits, but their numbers are dwindling quickly.  Honey bees are generally non-aggressive, unless they feel that their hive or colony is threatened.  Honey bee hives can contain as many as 50,000 bees, so you will need to take care not to disturb the hive.

If the insect is large, with black and yellow colorings, it is more than likely a yellow jacket. Yellow jackets are a type of wasp, and unlike honey bees, they can deliver many stings without dying.  Wasp and yellow jacket removal is best done by a professional.

Swarm Vs. Hive

The next step in how to get rid of bees is to determine whether you are dealing with a swarm or a hive.  Bees swarm when they are moving to a new area to colonize.  Swarming bees are often seen on tree branches or other open air areas, and will be a mass of moving bees. These swarms are generally not dangerous, simply because they are not protecting a hive or colony.  A swarm will often move on within a day or two, and do not present a problem as long as they are left alone.

Bee Swarm

Bee Swarm

A hive, however, is very different.  Hives may be visible, or you may simply see several bees moving in and out of a hole in a tree, or even around a hole in your home’s walls.  If you see this type of activity, or the hive itself, you may want to consider calling a professional.  Bees that have already created a colony will become aggressive if they perceive a threat to the colony.  If the bees are Africanized, they will respond quickly and aggressively, which can be dangerous to anyone who might be in the area, especially those that are sensitive to bee venom.

Bee Removal

Once you have determined what type of bee problem you have, you will need to decide the best way to get rid of bees.  If you see only a few bees hovering around a hole in the wall, soffit, or other area of your home, you should try to see if you notice any yellow sacs on the hind legs of the bees.  If these sacs are present, you may be dealing with a hive situation.  If you do not see them, you can spray the area with a bee killing spray.  Keep your distance from the area, and make sure to wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.  After spraying the area, wait for around 15 minutes before approaching the sprayed area again.

After 15 minutes, you need to determine whether the problem is gone.  If you do not see any activity, it is generally safe to assume that the bee issue has been taken care of.  However, if you notice that there are more bees in the area than what you started with, you are more than likely dealing with a hive that has been built inside the wall or other structure.  If this is the case, you should consider contacting a professional to in order to get rid of the hive. Hives can contain thousands of bees, which will be very difficult to deal with using only a can of spray.  In fact, attempting to use bee spray on a colony or hive can be quite dangerous, especially if the bees are Africanized.

How to Get Rid of Bees Nest

Bee nest

Bee nest

If you are determined to find out how to get rid of beehive on your own, you will need to make sure to take some precautions.  The first step is to ensure that you are wearing thick clothing that covers your entire body.  You will also want to make sure that you protect your head and neck, as well as your hands.  The best solution for getting rid of bees other than using a professional is to use a pesticide dust.  You will want to put the dust inside the entrance of the hive.  This should only be done in the late evening, when most of the bees are in the hive and less active.  After spraying the dust into the entrance of the hive, you will want to get away, and leave it alone for at least a full day.  This will ensure that as many bees as possible come in contact with the dust.

Removing the Hive

Once you are sure that all the bees are dead, or you have had then removed by a professional, you will need to get rid of the empty hive.  If you leave an empty hive, it will attract rodents, other insects, and even other bees who might try to take it over and recolonize.  If you can see the hive, and you know it is empty, simply detach it from the location and put it in a tightly closed plastic bag.  You can then throw it in the garbage.

If the hive is located inside your wall or siding, you will need professional assistance to remove it safely. Failing to remove the hive in the proper manner will result in damage to your walls or structures, resulting in a much more costly problem.  Professionals have received training in doing this properly, and their services might be considerably cheaper than it will cost to repair your walls.

In order to completely get rid of the bee problem, you will also need to thoroughly clean the area where the hive was located.  The smell left behind will attract any bees that may have survived, and they will try to rebuild in the same area.