When we think of bees, most of us prefer to think about the cartoon cereal honey bee.
Because that image is far less scary than what a typical homeowner might see when they find a swarm of bees infesting their home.
Dealing with a bee problem can be extremely stressful.
It’s important to know what to do when you find bees on your property.
We’re here to help you take the right steps to have them safely removed.
What Kind of Bee Problem Do I Have?
You see bees and immediately want them removed.
But first, it’s important to identify what kind of a bee problem you have. There are different varieties of bees and you should know what kind you’re dealing with before taking any action.
Here are some ways to identify what kind of a bee problem you have.
- Honey Bees: The smallest of the bees, they are also typically found where beekeepers are cultivating them. However, they can also find their way into your attic. Most of them tend to be docile and social. Beware of the worker bees, they will defend their territory by stinging you.
- Bumble Bees: These bees also produce honey but it’s not edible to humans. Their hives tend to be found low to the ground so you might find a hive under a shed or a pile of leaves. All bumblebees can sting but won’t unless provoked. However, if they do sting, they can do so multiple times.
- Carpenter Bees: Also referred to as wood bees. Often confused with bumble bees because of their similar shape and size but they aren’t as fuzzy. They are commonly found near gardens and parks. They burrow into the wood so their hives tend to be found on telephone poles, in attics, eaves, and rafters. Only the females sting and they only sting if they are provoked.
- Yellow Jackets: These are not bees, they are wasps with similar coloring to bees. They are aggressive, especially toward the end of their life cycles and extreme caution should be taken when dealing with them.
How Do I Get Rid of My Bee Problem?
You’ve identified what type of bee problem you have and now you’re ready to take action.
There are several options you can take.
But first, please remember that your nuisance is also ensuring you have food on your table.
Bee numbers are dramatically declining. It’s now known as Colony Collapse Disorder.
Humans need bees to survive. They are pollinators.
Bees transfer pollen and seeds to other plants. That plant is then fertilized which allows it to grow and produce food.
Foods you eat like apples, almonds and even the pumpkins for our pies.
$15 billion dollars a year of US crops are actually pollinated by bees.
Honey itself earns $150 million annually. And honey has a lot of health benefits.
So before you choose how to remove those bees remember that bees are helping our economy and bodies thrive.
With that in mind, here are some suggestions for removing your bee problem.
- Wait: Often they’ll leave shortly on their own.
- Contact a Beekeeper: If it’s honeybees, they may want the hive for themselves.
- Call a Professional Insect Removal Service: They will be more than happy to assess your situation and handle everything for you.
- Use a Pesticide: Think long and hard before you use one. They are not only toxic to bees, they are toxic to humans and the environment. If you do choose to use this method of removal, choose one that is safe to use.
What Methods Should I Avoid When Solving My Bee Problem?
Here are some methods to avoid. They will only anger and provoke the bees.
These methods could result in a bigger bee problem than when you started.
- Use carpenter bee traps
- Try to vacuum the bees out
- Cover the bee hive with a tarp
- Seal the exit hole
- Use bright or red lights
- Have anyone else around when trying to remove them. Keep children and others far away while making any attempts at removal.
How Can I Prevent a Bee Problem?
It’s always easier to prevent a bee problem than to solve a bee problem.
But you have to arm yourself with knowledge first.
Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself from a bee problem:
- Mid-March to July is prime swarm season
- Bees can enter into any space that’s a quarter of an inch or larger
- Seal all potential entryways with a durable material such as metal screen or caulk
- Remove any old honeycombs you find
- Reduce clutter in your yard
How Can I Prevent Getting Stung?
Getting stung is the worst part of any bee problem.
While it’s obviously smart not to purposely provoke a bee or hive, there are things you might be doing now that may unintentionally attract bees.
Here’s how to avoid getting stung in the first place:
- Avoid wearing heavy scents outside
- Avoid wearing bright colors outside
- Avoid wearing floral clothing outside
- Be careful with foods and beverages
- Stay still around bees: Running around or screaming will only agitate them further
- Gently blow on bees: If a bee lands on you, trying gently blowing on the bee to get them to leave.
- Wear long pants
- Wear a hat
- Wear shoes
What Should I Do If I or Someone Else Gets Stung?
It happens, sometimes you or someone else gets stung.
And it’s scary and it hurts. Sometimes a lot.
Here’s what to do if you or someone else gets stung:
- Do NOT panic
- Do NOT squeeze the stinger. That will only inject more toxin into your body.
- Carefully and gently remove the stinger as soon as possible.
- Try using a mixture of baking soda and water to place on the affected area. It will help draw out the toxins, dry out the area and help reduce swelling and pain.
- Go to the doctor or call 9-1-1 if you feel you are having difficulty breathing or are otherwise having an allergic reaction.
In most cases, your bee problem can be resolved without incident.
If not, we’re located throughout Florida and we’re here to offer friendly advice and provide quick and safe action.