FAQ

<h2″>Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I remove my bees?

  • Honey bees should live in apiaries (bee farms) where the
    beekeeper (me) maintains their colony.
  • An increasing number wild swarms in Southern California are “Africanized Killer Bees”.
  • A wild bee hive should be respected as a potentially deadly animal.
  • You don’t want to wait until they attack to get rid of them.
  • They will fill your walls with honey.
  • They’re not going away by themselves.
  • They will present a hazard to you, your family, and neighbors.

How much does it cost?
Costs range from $150 – $600. Sometimes we have to go over that limit if there is extensive work to be done. Most of the “cut-out” removals I do are in the $400 – $500 range.

Why so much?
It’s dangerous and skilled work; and it has to be done right. If the job isn’t properly done, bees will return, ants and moths will invade, and variety of other unhappy things can happen. And, really when you
consider the amount of work I do, it’s not that much!

Do you make repairs?
Yes. Our price includes closing and patching any openings we make. Our expertise is bees and safe bee removal. We are not general contractors and if you would like a contractor to do the repair work, we are
happy with that and will give you a discount.

Why do bees swarm?
Swarming is the mechanism honey bees use to propagate their hives. An existing hive will divide And form a swarm. The swarm centers around a queen. They leave the parent hive and “hang out” on a tree branch or something like that. You’ve probably seen this—a basketball sized ball of bees hanging
there!

Somewhere in the middle of this ball is the queen, and everybody else is trying to get as close to her as possible. Meanwhile “scouts” are out looking for a suitable space for the swarm to move into. When a scout finds a likeable space, she comes back to the swarm and tells everyone, using a special dance. If the group is convinced the scout has found a good home, they all follow the scout to the spot and move in! Unfortunately for some people, that special spot is in their attic or walls. That’s when it’s time to call me.

What do bees look for?
They like a small opening into a cavity. Unfortunately contemporary construction methods provide numerous opportunities for bees to find what they’re looking for. I usually find bee hives in the faux pillars,
dormers, gables, etc. of SoCal’s subdivision homes. They also like irrigation control boxes, dog houses, pallets, old tires, hollow trees…

Why do they come back?
Bees mark their hive with pheromones. These are impossible to get rid of. In the future any scout bees out looking for a new home will sense those pheromones and come to the spot. If there is any kind of opening
into the space, they will get back in.

If old comb and honey are left in the space, this only makes the attraction stronger and greatly increases the probability another swarm will move into the same spot.

I take careful steps to prevent re-infestation, and I GUARANTEE they won’t return to the same spot.

How do you remove bees?
I do what it takes. Every job is different and a puzzle to solve. That’s why I enjoy it! I’ve been in attics, under houses, on top of chimneys and everywhere in-between! Most importantly the bees and their comb need to be removed so infestation will not recur.

Usually the process involves special techniques to precisely locate the hive in a wall, attic, etc. I open the space, remove the bees, honey, comb and eggs and transfer them to a bee box at my bee yard. The space they came from is fixed so bees cannot re-inhabit and the opening is repaired. I repair sheetrock, plaster, and roofs.

Isn’t it good enough to just kill the bees?
No! It’s bad for them and bad for you!

First, bees are under attack. Recently Colony Collapse Disorder has destroyed up to 90% of commercial bee hives. This is potentially catastrophic for our food supply as humans. Especially now bee hives need to be preserved—just not in your house!!

Secondly, many of the jobs I do are the result of someone killing the hive and not going to the trouble to remove it. The dead beehive attracts ants, moths, mice, rats, earwigs etc and bee swarms! This only increases your problem!

>Why doesn’t wasp and hornet spray work?
Bees build their hive deep inside a cavity. If you spray from the outside, you will only kill the few bees that are hanging around the entrance. There are thousands more inside who are unaffected by the
spray, and dozens of new bees hatch every day.

DO NOT SPRAY A BEE HIVE WITH HORNET SPRAY!! IT CAN GET YOU KILLED!!

How many stings does it take to kill a person?
If you are allergic, it can take just one. Generally they say it takes 1,500 – 2,000 stings to kill the average adult male. My estimation is 10-15% of the wild bee hives out there are the crazy “Killer” bees that can and would take down a person.

How can you tell if a hive is “Killer” bees?
You can’t tell until you start messing with them. Most bee hives learn what is “normal” behavior around their hive. Their first layer of warning is the guards that hang around the entrance. If they see someone
approach, they will “bump” you and maybe sting. If you get closer and the hive inside catches a whiff of your breath, then you get the “army” coming out!

“Killer” bees will send literally thousands of bees. Once a bee stings you, that spot is marked with pheromones and the others will focus on that spot and try to sting there. It becomes an exponentially increasing chain-reaction until you leave. “Killer” bees don’t give up when you leave. They follow for a very long way. (Don’t ask me how I know!)

I always make sure I have a clear escape or am fully suited before approaching a bee hive.

Do you ever get stung?
It’s a good day when I don’t get stung. I have a very good bee suit that is customized for the work I do, but nothing is perfect!