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Honey Bee Removal and Control

Honeybee on a flower. Photo by Erik Hooymans.

Honeybee control is one of our most in-demand spring and summer services.

Honeybees (or "honey bees" -- either term is correct) are beneficial insects and vital pollinators. Georgia's agricultural economy depends on the tireless services that honeybees provide to growers. But when honeybees 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 beehive, 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 like Marietta, Columbus, Macon, Roswell, Peachtree City, and Atlanta, honeybee control is especially important to public safety because the higher population density increases the chances that someone will stumble across a honeybee nest and trigger a swarm.

Do You Really Have a Bee Problem?

The first step in honeybee control is determining whether you actually have a honeybee problem. Sometimes, people confuse honeybees 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.

Finding The Beehive

If it's determined that you do in fact have a honeybee problem, then the next step is to find the nest. Honeybees build their hives in protected areas that can be hard to find. Needless to say, accurately locating a concealed beehive can be challenging.

Thermal Imaging Picture of a Beehive Inside a Wall Thermal Image of a Bee Hive taken through the sheetrock

In nature, honeybees usually build their nests in hollow trees. In human-populated areas, beehives 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 beehive 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 beehive 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 beehives, 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 beehive removal.

Accurately locating the beehive 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 beehive. Getting an accurate location first keeps that cutting to a minimum.

Honeybee Biology

Honeybees on a flower photographed during a honeybee removal job. This photo was taken by our technician David Garrison at a Georgia honey bee removal job.

Honeybees 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.

Honeybees also have a complex "language" of flight movements and wing strokes. Entomologists believe that honeybees 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.

Honeybees 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.

Bee Control and Removal in Atlanta and North-Central Georgia

Honeybees on a yellow flower photographed during an Atlanta honeybee removal job. Another nice picture by David, taken at an Atlanta, Georgia honey bee removal job.

Because of the vital service they perform, honeybees shouldn't be disturbed unless they are causing a risk or a nuisance. Honeybee populations across America are under stress from not-yet-determined causes; so unless they are presenting a health or safety risk, honeybees really should be left alone.

When honey bee control is necessary, Rid-A-Critter provides bee control and bee removal services in Atlanta, Macon, Athens, Marietta, Columbus, Duluth, Roswell, and all of Northern and Central Georgia.

Our bee control specialists have the training and equipment to safely remove honeybees, no matter where they are nesting.

Honeybee Control Gallery

Here are some pictures of honeybee control and beehive removal jobs we've done.

For help with honeybee control or any stinging insect problem, please call us today.

 

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Rid-A-Critter provides honey bee control and hive removal in all of North Georgia, including Athens, Atlanta, Alpharetta, Canton, Carrollton, Cartersville, Columbus, Cumming, Dacula, Doraville, Dunwoody, Ellijay, Flowery Branch, Gainesville, Kennesaw, Jasper, Lawrenceville, Loganville, Macon, Milton, Norcross, Rome, Roswell, Suwanee, Villa Rica, Winston, Woodstock, and everywhere in between.

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