What to do When Bees Move Into Your Home
Bees. We love them and need them for pollination. Our fruits and vegetables owe so much to these little creatures. If you spend a few minutes learning about bees, you’ll see why so many gardeners go out and order bees from retailers just to have them make a home nearby. They aren’t usually as aggressive as some wasps and yellow jackets. They are truly wonderful creatures. Well, except when they actually move into your home.
First of all, the fact that some people are deathly allergic to bee stings should be enough cause for concern. Bees will go to great lengths to defend their hive, which makes it a hazard for families with small children and pets who may not understand how to avoid disturbing the hive. Bees will become very aggressive when defending their queen and home, and it doesn’t take much to be seen as a threat. If you are afraid of bees, they can detect a change in your pheromones—a change that then puts the bees themselves on guard, too.
There is another downside to having bees make a home in your house—the honeycomb can bring a lot of problems. In hot temperatures, the beeswax can melt and run down through the structure of your home. There are some terrible odors associated with this, in addition to the physical damage this can cause to your house. The honeycomb and wax also attract rodents; once the bees have moved on, a full colony of honeycomb is a sure-fire way to have rats and mice gnawing their way into your walls this winter.
Here are some reasons you should call a professional bee-keeper or company to help you try to remove the bees from your home. Humane solutions are best, and so many people will be glad to have and care for your bees. Extermination should only be considered in those instances where bees pose an immediate threat to you and your family and home. Consider the following:
What to do with the Bee Hive in Your Walls
If you exterminate a large hive in the wall and leave them to die, the massive “grave” you’ll leave behind will still contain the beeswax and honey (attracting rodents, roaches, and other bugs), and the thousands or hundreds of thousands of dead bees will really start to smell. It gets worse (grosser), but we’ll leave it at that.
If you just “plug up the holes,” the bees will find another way out. They can eat through materials, and there’s a chance that “another way out” will be through an inside wall of your home—leaving you a very interesting situation to wake up to.
There are also “robber bees” that will come and take what they can or make a home in a location that previously hosted other bee colonies. So even if you can kill the bees, the remaining honeycomb can be detected by a new batch of bees that could quickly move in later this summer or next year.
The best solution is to find a bee-keeping community and see if someone will help come remove the bees. You may need to open the walls to remove all the honeycomb, and you want to make sure you have gotten it all. If you haven’t sprayed any chemicals into the holes or entrances for the hive, the beekeepers will likely thank you by giving you a few bottles of your own homemade honey.
If you can’t find a way to safely remove the bees, then you will need to turn to a professional extermination company who can help solve the problem. Again, try to make this your last resort as bees are so beneficial to our way of life, but if you need to, there are companies that will come and remove the bricks/wall/etc. to eradicate the hive. You may also need to hire a contractor, too, to repair the home after the hive has been removed.
The sooner you catch them in your home, the better. Hives can grow by about 2,000 per day, and large hives can hold around 100,000 bees or more. You’ll hear them in your walls buzzing to keep their hive cool. If it’s not safe to have them there, try your best to be proactive and protect your home and loved ones.
On a side note, if there is a hive in a relatively distant location to where you and your family frequent (a nearby tree, for instance) and the bees pose no serious risk, consider planting a garden nearby instead. You’ll enjoy a healthy dose of flowers, fruits, and veggies for sure.
Henry Duckstein Jr.