Are They Honey Bees?
LCBS members only deal with European honey bees. Any other type native bee, wasp, or hornet will be out of our purview and a professional pest control company should be contacted. If you can physically see a gray paper nest or if the insects are entering the ground, these are not honey bees. Here are some examples of wasps that an exterminator can help you remove.
But If They Are Honey Bees…
A honey bee colony may split at any time of year. This split involves the existing queen leaving her original colony with about half the bees to find a new place to live. The bees left behind then raise a new queen. This homeless group of bees is officially called a swarm. They will cluster together almost anywhere but normally on a tree, fence post, mailbox, or something similar. The bees then go about finding a new home.
Honey bees can move into any cavity they find hospitable. The cavity must exist though, honey bees will not chew or burrow to create a hollow space. In nature, honey bees will almost always chose a hollow tree, but in areas with humans, they may also choose other spaces such as a wall, a barrel, or a chimney.
If you notice a swarm at your house, meaning a cluster of bees that are out in the open, please use our swarm collector search page to find a nearby beekeeper who will come get them if they’re accessible and close enough to the ground. This is a free service. The swarm collector search is here: Swarm Collector Search Page
If, on the other hand, you notice bees entering and exiting a structure such as your home, garage, or shed you’ll need a qualified bee removal expert. Lori Stahl is currently our only member doing removals. Unfortunately, the work involved in removing bees is extensive and is not provided for free. Every situation is different so you’ll work with Lori on the charges required to remove the bees from your property. Exterminating the bees can be done by a qualified pest control professional but this is rarely a good idea. The bees have built comb and collected honey which will be in the comb. Killing the bees leaves this open for ants and mice to find. Once they do, they will chew the comb and release the honey onto the inside of the walls, a messy prospect indeed. Also, the comb left behind, even once sprayed, will attract future swarms of bees so new bees are likely to move in at a later date. This is why having a qualified removal expert open the wall, clean out all the comb, and fill the cavity is generally the best option.
One more thing to keep in mind is that while Lori is skilled at opening the area of structure around the bee colony and will do so as gently as possible, she does not do the finishing carpentry work required to fill the cavity and close it back up after removing the bees. You will be required to do this yourself or find a contractor of your choice to do that work after the bees are gone.
Bees living in trees are extremely difficult to remove without felling the tree. The procedure takes weeks of trapping bees with many return trips and labor for the beekeeper. Bees in trees are often quite high off the ground and as such will rarely be a problem. You can call Lori to discuss your current situation but in the end, leaving the bees alone or calling a pest control professional may be the only option.
Lori’s contact information is 717-859-3200 or by email at email@example.com.