How to Remove a Beehive in 6 Steps
Beehive removal sounds like a frightening prospect, but it doesn't have to be. You do need to be aware of a few things and follow certain steps in order to have a successful beehive removal.
Note: These instructions are for destroying the beehive. However, because bees are an integral part of nature and food production, humane solutions should be considered before eliminating a colony. Many beekeepers and pest control companies will remove beehives for free, so check your local listings before pursuing this option.
Step 1 - Make Sure You Aren’t Allergic
Whether or not you have any other allergies, you may be allergic to bee stings. If you are allergic, the venom in a bee sting can cause serious problems such as swelling of the lips or throat, difficulty breathing, tightness of the throat, vomiting, diarrhea, lightheadedness, and passing out due to low blood pressure. For highly allergic individuals, this can be fatal. If you have experienced an allergic bee sting reaction, then beehive removal is best left to the professionals.
Step 2 - Protect Yourself
When attempting to perform a beehive removal, it’s important to wear appropriate clothing. Professional bee removers wear light-colored and smooth-textured clothing, and you should too. Bees are aggravated by dark-colors and rough clothing.
Look for a beekeeper’s veil and leather gloves for additional protection of your face and hands. A bee smoker can help calm bees and make them less likely to sting. Don’t wear any perfume, cologne, after-shave, or scented deodorant. The bees may confuse your scent with the scent of flowers.
Step 3 - Locate The Beehive
This sounds like a no-brainer, but often beehives are located in out of the way places like chimneys or in the walls. Also check out bird houses, pots, your attic, trash cans, and any open structure where bees can get in.
Honey bees that nest in your walls pose a health problem as well as a danger to the structure of your house. Beehives in the house can hold 20 to 80 pounds of honey. Honey can ruin walls and ceilings if not removed.
Chimneys are prime targets for bees seeking a new location for a hive. Scouting bees look for places to make their nest. If your chimney doesn’t have a protective screen, you may have a beehive inside. When completing a beehive removal, don’t make any sudden movement. Be sure to exercise extreme caution around any suspected beehives. If you see numerous bees flying around in your house, you know bees have nested. Immediate beehive removal is recommended.
Step 4 - Best Time To Perform Beehive Removal
Kill established bee colonies in late winter or early spring when the bee population in the hive is the smallest. You will also want to apply insecticide in the late afternoon. Again, this is when all the bees will be in the hive or nest. Bees sleep in the evening and early morning.
Step 5 - What To Use For Beehive Removal
In terms of chemicals, a good insecticide such as Sevin works. You will need repeated applications in order to kill all the bees inside the hive.
To remove a beehive located inside your walls, tap with a hammer and listen for the bees’ answering buzz. This is where the nest or hive is located. You’ll need to bore a hole (preferably through an outside wall) and apply the insecticide to the hive.
Step 6 - The Process
Once you’ve located the beehive, put on your protective clothing, beekeeper’s veil, and leather gloves. It's time to remove your first beehive. Spray the insecticide on the beehive. Do this in the late afternoon or early morning as indicated above. Repeat the application several times in order to kill all the remaining bees in the hive. Remove and destroy the beehive to prevent foraging bees from neighboring colonies from moving in.
Dispose of the removed beehive by placing it in a plastic garbage bag you securely tie. Make sure all the bees inside are dead. Then place it in a trash disposal container (with a tight lid) and put out for trash pickup. After the beehive removal, clean the area thoroughly with soap and water. Plug all entrances where bees could gain an entry point. Seal all openings in walls. Install screens over vents and rain spouts. If you’ve bored a hole in an outside wall, seal it up and paint as necessary.