Honey bees (or "honeybees" -- either term is correct) are beneficial insects and vital pollinators. Georgia's agricultural economy depends on the tireless services that honey bees provide to growers. But when honey bees present a risk to human health and safety — such as when bees build hives in or close to houses, playgrounds, campsites, and other places where people live and gather — the bees have to be removed.
If someone accidentally gets too close to a bee hive, the bees may swarm and attack. Bee stings can be fatal to people who are allergic to them, and people who aren't sensitive to bee stings can become ill if they're stung by a large number of bees at once.
In Georgia's bigger cities honey bee control is especially important to public safety because the higher population density increases the chances that someone will stumble across a honey bee nest and trigger a swarm.
The first step in honey bee control is determining whether you actually have a honey bee problem. Sometimes, people confuse honey bees with other stinging insects such as wasps, yellow jackets, or hornets. These insects' biology and behavior are very different, and they require different treatment techniques. If you have any doubt as to the proper identification of a bee or wasp on your property, please contact us for a prompt, professional identification.
If it's determined that you do in fact have a honey bee problem, then the next step is to find the nest. honey bees build their hives in protected areas that can be hard to find. Needless to say, accurately locating a concealed bee hive can be challenging.
In nature, honey bees usually build their nests in hollow trees. In human-populated areas, bee hives in homes and other buildings are usually concealed inside walls, ceilings, soffits, ornamental columns, and other hollow voids. To further complicate bee control, the actual bee hive may be a considerable distance away from the entry holes the bees use to get into and out of the building.
Sometimes we can find a hidden bee hive by tapping on walls and ceilings, feeling for vibrations, listening with a stethoscope, or simply placing an ear against the walls. But to locate those truly hard-to-find bee hives, we use a thermal imaging camera that detects the temperature difference in the hive area, and pinpoints its location with remarkable accuracy. The picture on the right illustrates how thermal imaging helps make quick work of bee hive removal.
Accurately locating the bee hive also reduces damage to your home by minimizing the need for cutting, replacing, finishing, and repainting sheetrock. You can't just leave the hive in the wall, obviously, because the honey will drip out and make a huge mess of things. So one way or the other, we almost always have to do some cutting to remove a bee hive. Getting an accurate location first keeps that cutting to a minimum and helps keep the total cost of the bee-removal job down.
Honey bees are highly advanced social insects whose hives may contain thousands of bees. There is one queen bee, whose jobs are to lay eggs and regulate other aspects of the hive's existence through a system of chemical messengers called pheromones. Most of the remaining bees are female workers, whose jobs are to build the nest, regulate the hive's internal temperature by flapping their wings, gather and evaporate nectar, tend to the queen and the young, and defend the colony; and male drones, whose only duties are reproductive.
Honey bees also have a complex "language" of flight movements and wing strokes. Entomologists believe that honey bees are able to communicate complex concepts such as the direction and distance to food sources, as well as threats to the hive, through their body language. This may be how bee colonies are able to attack so quickly when they feel threatened.
Honey bees often build hives inside walls, ceilings, soffits, attics, and other structural voids. Aside from the risk of bee stings, bee nests inside buildings can cause damage due to melting and dripping honey, which may also attract other insects and animals.
Because of the vital service they perform, honey bees shouldn't be disturbed unless they are causing a risk or a nuisance. Honey bee populations across America are under stress from not-yet-determined causes; so unless they are presenting a health or safety risk, honey bees really should be left alone.
When honey bee control is necessary, Rid-A-Critter provides bee control and bee removal services throughout Northern and Central Georgia.
Our bee control specialists have the training and equipment to safely remove honey bees, no matter where they are nesting.
Here are some pictures of honey bee control and bee hive removal jobs we've done.
For help with honey bee control or any stinging insect problem, please call us today.