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General Bee Questions


Q. Why did the Creator of Heaven and Earth make bees anyway?

Q. What about Killer Bees/Africanized Honey Bees?

Q. When are bees a problem?

Q. Why did the bees pick my house and yard?

Q. Why do I need to get rid of bees?

Q. When do bees come into houses?

Q. When is the best time to get rid of bees?

Q. Where do bees live?

Q. How do I know if I have bees on my property?

Q. Where can I get help with my bee problem?

Health & Safety

Q. Why do bees sting?

Q. What are the health risks of having bees in my residential or commercial building?

Q. Will the bees attack me?

Q. Why do bees swarm?

Q. Who is responsible for this bee problem?

Animal Control Products and Methods

Q. What are the most common bee complaints you receive?

Q. Which poisons do you recommend to kill bees?

Q. Which bee repellents are the best?

Q. Which methods do you use to exterminate bees?

Q. Which methods do you use to get rid of bees?

Q. Who should I call for help?

Q. Why should I hire a professional to get rid of bees?

Property Damage

Q. What damage can bees cause?

Q. What is this going to do to my property value?

Q. What will a wildlife removal technician do about the bees on my property?

Costs

Q. What does it cost for an initial on-site bee inspection?

Q. What does it cost for an initial over-the-phone bee control consultation?

Q. Who pays for my bee problem?

Q. What FREE animal control services does your company offer to the public?

Q. How much will it cost to get rid of the bees?

 

General Bee Questions

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Q. Why did the Creator of Heaven and Earth make bees anyway?

A. Honey bees have been part of human existence since at least 6,000 B.C. when humans sought out honey trees for a sweet treat.  But, far more than providing honey, bees are the best pollinators of fruit and vegetable crops.  Billions of dollars of crops would be at risk and starvation of humans and animals worldwide would be a very real risk without honey bees.

Honey bees are not the only bees, to be sure.  There are approximately 30,000 species of bee in the world, all of them valuable and interesting in their own way.

Q. What about Killer Bees/Africanized Honey Bees?

A. “Killer bee” is a dramatic media-created name for the Africanized Honey Bee.  The hybrid is created when a particular strain of honey bees from Africa, Apis mellifera scutellata, and basically any other honey bee that it can mate with  produce viable offspring. In the United States this could be Apis mellifera ligustica (Italian honey bee), Apis mellifera carnica (Carniolian honey bee), Apis mellifera caucasica (Caucasian honey bee), and Apis mellifera mellifera (Dark honey bee).

Africanized honey bees are slightly smaller than regular honey bees. But it is not possible to tell them apart just from looking at them. Dissection and extensive lab work is required. 

The venom from both honey bees is chemically the same. And, because the Africanized honey bee is slightly smaller than the regular honey bee, it actually has slightly less venom. As with all worker honey bees, each Africanized Honey Bee can only sting once.

Q. When are bees a problem?

A. Bees are a problem when they establish a colony in the walls of a structure.  The bees become territorial and defensive of the colony site.  The accumulating honeycomb and honey can damage the structure.  It is difficult to remove the colony of bees once they are established and the entire hive, honeycomb and all, must be removed or it can attract additional pests.

Q. Why did the bees pick my house and yard?

A. Probably it is a bit of bad luck as bees are pretty random in selecting nest sites.  They do seem to prefer areas with morning sun, often East or Southeast facing locations.  Even very small holes allow access for bees. It is also possible that there were bees on the property previously and you weren’t told about it.  Maybe a previous hive wasn’t cleaned out properly and is calling the bees back.

Q. Why do I need to get rid of bees?

A.  All bees, Africanized or not, can be dangerous.  Many people are allergic to bee stings and can become very sick or even die from a single sting.  It takes many stings, approximately 10 stings per pound, for a normal person to die, but that is still only 2,000 for a 200 pound person.  A single hive usually houses 10,000 to 40,000 bees.  You are definitely outnumbered.

Even the threat of being stung can frighten or panic many people. 

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Q. When do bees come into houses?

A. Bees come into houses when a hive splits and they are in search of a new home.  The cavities in chimneys and walls are much like a hollow tree.

Q. When is the best time to get rid of bees?

A. If you suspect a colony is beginning to be established, get rid of them right away before they start creating honey and laying eggs.  If it is too late for that, you can still successfully get rid of bees with professional help, including complete removal of the hive—honey, comb, eggs and all.

Q. Where do bees live?

A.  Bees live almost anywhere people can live, except places of year round extreme cold, but some bumblebees can live far north and high in the mountains where it is cold most of the year. 

Bees seek a variety of homes, depending on the species.  Many are solitary animals, building small burrows in the earth.  Others, like honey bees, seek hollow logs or the walls of your home as a perfect place to establish a honey-producing colony.

Q.  How do I know if I have bees on my property?

A. There are many insects that people call “bees.”  Some truly are a variety of bee, including the honey bee, and some are wasps. 

True honey bees are about ¾ inch long and stout with fuzzy bodies, straight antennae and four wings.  Very large insects of this appearance are often carpenter bees.  Smaller size similar insects are usually some variety of non-social bee (meaning they do not form large hives or colonies). Bees come in a variety of colors from yellow and black, to green to all black.  Honey bees are brownish. Yellowjacket wasps are about the same size as honey bees and form colonies but are dark black and bright yellow with clearly defined bands of color.

Q. Where can I get help with my bee problem?

A. Allstate Bee Control can help. Call us. We are professionals with experience in bee removal and have trained technicians who will safely trap and remove bees from your property.

Health & Safety

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Q. Why do bees sting?

A. Bees sting when they are provoked or feel threatened.  If bees feel their home or resources or young are in danger then they become aggressive, much like you might if your home were threatened.  If you are close to a hive, avoid flapping your arms, moving rapidly or bumping or striking the hive.  If a bee lands on you or becomes tangled in your hair, do not scream or wave at it.  Hold still and the creature will often leave of its own free will without stinging.  Remember, when a bee stings it dies.  They don’t want to do that except as a last resort.

Q. What are the health risks of having bees in my residential or commercial building?

A. The primary threat from bees is stinging.  Bee venom is a complex mixture of biogenic amines, protein (polypeptide) toxins and enzymes. The stinging effects are not due to the acidity or alkalinity of the venom per se, but the toxicity of the venom itself.  It takes a large number of stings, about 10 per pound, to kill a normal human, but a single sting can kill an allergic person.  

Q. Will the bees attack me?

A. Usually, no.  Bees generally will not attack unless provoked, but their definition of “provoked” may be more general than yours.  If you have upset a hive and the bees are becoming aggressive, leave the area immediately.  Seek shelter in a sealed automobile or in a home or other building.  Some bees may follow you, but it will be less than the full colony.  If necessary, run as fast as you can at least ¼ mile away from the colony site.

Q. Why do bees swarm?

A. Bees swarm usually during the Spring and Fall.  When a colony becomes too large, the old queen will take about half the colony and leave in search of a new nest location.  She leaves queen eggs behind, one of which will emerge as the new queen of the hive. 

A swarm looks like a large ball or lump of bees, entirely coving surfaces such as a tree branch.  Some people will allow themselves to be covered in bees as a stunt, but I don’t recommend that approach. 

A swarming colony may appear and even sound alarming, but are not generally aggressive. A technician experienced in bee removal can trap and relocate a swarm if you need to have one removed.  Above all, don’t panic and swing or swat at the swarm.  Even happy bees have their limits.

Q. Who is responsible for this bee problem?            

A. The space in your wall or chimney is responsible for this bee problem, but it is up to you to find a solution, and Allstate Bee Control is the solution you are looking for.

Do not make the typical mistakes of spraying the hole with wasp spray or simply blocking the access and hoping for the best.  If you are lucky, your actions will have no noticeable effect and the bees will go on living happily and accessing their hive through a different entrance.  If you are very unlucky, and your efforts kill the bees and/or trap them in your wall, you will have a terrible odor problem as 40,000 bees die and slowly rot away inside your house.  We can solve your bee problem with complete bee hive removal and clean up.

Animal Control Products and Methods

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Q. What are the most common bee complaints you receive?

A. People complain about bees when they build hives in the walls or chimneys of homes, or otherwise locate their hive in close proximity to humans.  People also complain when they are stung or threatened with being stung repeatedly.

Q. Which poisons do you recommend to kill bees?

A. There are many insecticides that will kill bees, but there are a few problems with success in this case.  Killing the bees does not remove the bees and their hive from your walls or chimney.  Insecticide use makes the honey inedible.  It is better to have the bees relocated if at all possible.  Cleanup is much harder than just killing the bees and is best handled by a professional.  Be very cautious before attempting to kill bees inside your walls or chimney.

Q. Which bee repellents are the best?

A. There are no repellents registered and proven effective for bees.  There are a number of home remedies, none of which I have found effective and some of which are dangerous, such as pouring diesel around the perimeter of your home. 

Q. Which methods do you use to exterminate bees?

A. Because they are so beneficial, it is best to remove bees alive and relocate or capture the hive.  This is not always easy and not even always possible, but it is preferable.  If it is truly impossible to relocate them, a variety of poisons or insecticides can be used to exterminate them.  Then the entire hive is removed and disposed of.

Q. Which methods do you use to get rid of bees?

A. We can get rid of bees by capturing a hive and relocating it or by exterminating the bees.

Q. Who should I call for help?
           
A. Call Allstate Bee Control. 

Q. Why should I hire a professional to get rid of bees?      

A.  A professional has the experience and equipment to get rid of bees completely and safely.  A professional has the best chance of capturing the bees alive and removing them to a better location.  With bees there is always the threat of stinging to pets or kids and the danger of allergies.  Caution is your best policy.

Property Damage

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Q. What damage can bees cause?

A. Honeybees in walls can become a major problem—structurally, environmentally and aesthetically.  The weight and pressure of accumulated honey and honey comb can damage walls.  The honey and waste products attract other pests and can emit a very strong odor.  The melting wax seeps into drywall or stucco, staining it.  This is in addition to the very real health risks, which are an important consideration.

Q. What is this going to do to my property value?

A. Any pest infestation can lower the value of your property by 5-10%.

Q. What can a wildlife removal technician do about the bees on my property?

A.  A wildlife technician will evaluate the nature of your bee infestation and determine the feasibility of removing the colony alive.  If possible, that is what will be done.  If not possible, the colony will be exterminated.  Removing the colony or killing the bees does not complete the job.  The nest/hive itself must be removed. This includes the developing bee larvae, wax combs and honey (which could easily weigh 100 pounds or more). The cavity that the bees occupied must be filled and the holes that provided access to the nest must be blocked.         

Costs

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Q. What does it cost for an initial on-site inspection?

A. For specific information, see our Pricing Page.

Q. What does it cost for an initial over-the-phone bee control consultation?

A. FREE!  Send me 5-10 pictures via e-mail and I will review them and call you to recommend a solution and give you an estimate.  Pictures should include suspected colony location and anything else you think might be important.

Q. Who pays for my bee problem?

A. Bees are the responsibility of the property owner.  You can attempt to get rid of them and clean up yourself, but I recommend that you contact us, your bee removal specialists.  Typically bee removal starts with an inspection and evaluation which costs $150-250, depending on your location.  You may want to contact your property insurance carrier; your policy may include coverage for removal and clean up of pest animals.

Q. What FREE bee control services does your company offer?

A. If you find an animal problem on your property, take 5-10 digital pictures and e-mail them to us (use the Contact Us page).  We will call you on the phone and discuss your situation for a few minutes and suggest a plan of action, as time allows.

Q. How much will it cost to get rid of the bees?

A. Prices vary depending on your location, location of the hive and severity of the problem. I can give you a FREE estimate over the phone using digital pictures you e-mail me. For additional information, see our Pricing Page.