Honey Bee Removal
Honey Bee Removal
We handle the honey bee removal process from start to finish!
Honey Bee Struggles?
Animal Remover Honey Bee Removal Process
Step 1 – Inspection: We start by responding to the property to perform a free inspection. We will inspect the space in question to determine if it indeed is housing honey bees. Once a current hive is determined to be present, we start out by finding the entry point. The entry is usually obvious but sometimes may be more difficult to find especially if it’s up high. Our honey bee removal specialists come prepared with ladders and can access almost any structure. Once we locate the entry point, we find out where the hive is. The hive is usually close to the entry point but may be several feet away. Next, we gather some data using a thermal imaging camera to determine how large the comb is. After we combine our intel, we develop a plan for extraction, removal, and exclusion.
Step 2 – Plan: Next we will develop a custom plan for you tailored to your specific situation. We will provide a worksheet which will quote the cost for the remaining steps in the process. This will be presented to you in the form of an Animal Intrusion Worksheet.
Step 3 – Prepare: Honey bee extraction, removal, and exclusion usually involve removing siding, roofing, and drywall to gain access to the comb. If removing combs from an exterior wall void, we typically work from the outside to not disturb the interior. Sometimes comb is built between the floor and ceiling, or inside an interior wall void. If the comb is within an interior wall void, we must close off all the entry points to the room, tape all the vents, tape around light fixtures, and tape under doors that lead to other interior rooms prevent the bees from escaping to other rooms. We also cover the entire floor in vinyl stick plastic.
Step 4 – Suit Up: Our honey bee removal specialist suits up for the extraction. We wear white bee suits because it makes the bees feel much more comfortable as most of their predators like bears, raccoons, and skunks are dark in color. We also wear veils over our heads and gloves over our hands to prevent the bees from stinging. We do our best to keep the bees as calm as possible. This is good for us and good for the honey bees.
Step 5 – Calm the Bees: Contrary to popular belief when doing a honey bee extraction, we don’t actually “smoke’’ the bees to calm them down. When bees smell smoke in their hive, they go into survival mode. They try to save as much honey as possible by eating as much as they can. Later they plan to vomit the honey back up.
Step 6 – Cut Out: We drill ¾ inch holes. This gives us a better idea of exactly where the comb is.
Step 7- Cut Out: Cut Out: Next we cutout the building material to fully expose the hive.
Step 8 – Honey Bee Removal: Then we start removing the bees using a specialized battery powered no-kill honey bee vacuum. The bee vacuum is specifically designed to not harm the bees. In fact, some of our bee vacuums put the bees right into the new hive as that particular vacuum is a unit that attaches to the top of a 10-frame deep honey bee box. The 10-frame deep honey bee box also comes equipped with frames on the inside so the bees have something to hold on to throughout the removal process. We continuously work using the bee vacuums until most of the bees have been captured. It’s not possible to capture every single honey bee as some bees will be in flight for the duration of the process. Though they will be removed shortly as they will follow the hive.
Step 9 – Queen Location: We inspect the exposed comb and do our best to locate the queen. This step is very important as the queen is the most important honey bee to find. If we are successful in finding the queen the hive has a much better chance of success. At the time of removal, the hive may, in fact, be queen less. The honey bees may be in the middle of creating a new queen. If this is the case we still proceed with removal as usual. We can always place a new mated queen with the hive if needed.
Step 10 – Comb Removal: We start removing the comb. Removing the comb involves very carefully cutting it out to keep it intact as much as possible. We do this to keep the hive as intact as possible and to prevent honey from dripping into areas where it is not wanted. As we remove the comb, we install it into beehive frames and position it in place with rubber bands. The honey bee will be able to work within the hive and attach their comb to the frames. This will allow the bees to not have to start from scratch in the new hive.
Step 11 – Scraping: During this step, it is very important that we get all the remaining comb and scrape off as much as possible as it will serve as an attractant for new honey bees. We use specialized tools to scrape off remaining comb and wax. Comb or honey that is left behind will also serve as an attractant to rodents, wildlife and other insects such as mice, rats, ants, roaches, beetles, and moths. So, it’s very important that this step is done correctly and thoroughly.
Step 12 – Reunite the Bees With Their Comb: Once the bees and the comb have both been successfully removed, we must put them back together. We reunite the bees with the comb by placing the boxes together. We place the box with the comb under our initial honey bee containment box. This will allow the bees to climb up into the second box that contains their comb. The bees will start to get used to living and working in their new hive.
Step 13 – Clean-Up: We initiate the cleanup process. We pull up the vinyl stick plastic and peel up the tape. We bag up any remaining comb, wax, or honey. We do not waste anything. Any remaining comb or wax will be kept for processing.
Step 14 – Deodorizer/Disinfectant: We fog the areas where the comb and wax were with an antimicrobial deodorizer/disinfectant. By eliminating the smell and cleaning the area we lessen the chance of new honey bee from attempting to inhabit the area. This will prevent other insects like roaches, ants, beetles, and moths from inhabiting the space as well.
Step 15 – Insulation: We pack fiberglass batt insulation in the area where the comb and bees were. This will eliminate the dead space and even further prevent new honey bees from returning to the same spot in the future.
- Step 16 – Entry Point Repairs: Next, we repair the entry point. The entry points will be repaired with #8 bee-proof steel mesh and sealed with a construction grade adhesive and/or caulking.
- Step 17 – Interior Repairs: The extent of what is offered on repair services will depend upon what is offered through the Animal Remover location in your area. Some Animal Remover locations offer complete repair services such as exterior repairs, drywall, paint, etc. Other locations are only limited to the exterior repairs and arrangements must be made with a drywall/paint company to repair the cut-out area on the inside.
- Step 18 – Translocating the Bees: Finally, we have reached the last step. For the last step, we translocate the bees. Care and consideration for the bees must be taken during this process to ensure their safety. The honey bees cannot get too hot. We translocate the bees to our in-house apiary, donate the bees to a university, or we will contact a local beekeeper that needs honey bees. Lifetime Warranty!
By following these steps, we set the property owner and bees up for future success.