Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can bees damage my house, really?
Really they can, so Yes. Bees bring materials into your home in building their home. These materials may cause other issues that need to be addressed, or can be damaging or may present a risk to the home owner. Anything living in the walls of your home should be removed and the entrance repaired and cleaned. Problems that can result include intrusion of other insects and rodents, feces, smells, molds, fungus, structural breakdown, and fire. It is the best course of action, when you find the problem you should address it then. It only gets worse with time.
2. Can you see where the bees are holed-up?
Sometimes we can by the entrance, but usually this fact is hidden until it is opened. Bees move in when there is an opportunity. Many times we neglect signs until it is too late. Many people see a swarm on a wall or a fence and think, “wow, that is cool”, “never seen anything like that before”. In being amazed by the sight they also usually think, “we will just leave it as it will leave shortly”. Sadly the swarm was there because it was checking out a new home in your yard!! Holes need to be plugged or repaired. Signs of intruders usually shows that they are there, and usually well equipped and stubborn.
3. Can I just seal the hole with spray foam?
Yes, but it won’t do anything good. Spray foam is a bad way to try to solve a difficult problem and causes a mess in the end. Air will still find a way in, as few areas are air tight. If their current entrance is closed, they will find another. Honey Bees have years worth of food storage and will keep looking until another entrance is found. Having bees look further into your home, usually causes them to migrate deeper or enter the living space. Many situations result where the bees find their way into the living areas. Spray foam usually causes a serious mess, which later is very difficult to remove. The foam will harden and later the bees will dig right through it. Problem not solved, more issues arise.
4. Can a professional beekeeper come get the bees?
Yes. But some beekeepers are novice and some are experienced. Even experienced beekeepers are unskilled in removing bees from structures. It is best to have a licensed and insured contractor solve the issue. Structures have wiring, various framing supports, vapor issues, and a right and wrong way to do it! If your situation includes Honey bees it will be difficult and messy. Why would you take a chance with having a wire cut, plumbing ruptured, or future problems because the friend of a friend thought he could do it.
5. Can bees be trapped and then moved?
In some cases bees can be trapped, but it takes quite some time. Once the bees are living in a structure, they will not completely leave. They may swarm, but will not completely leave. Many tests have been done to encourage the Queen to leave, but so far there isn’t anything that works. You can put one way traps, but this only takes care of a small portion of the hive. Smoke, smell, sounds, vibrations, etc. haven’t been found to effect the bees much. They learn to tolerate it.
6. Do you do work for free?
There are probably a thousand or more bee colonies throughout Utah in structures, with more being added each day. Removing bees from structures is a difficult and messy job. For each removal I wear a bee suit that protects me but heats up the longer I am in it. Dehydration, fatigue, bee stings are a part of this job. It is unrealistic that anyone would want to endure that pro-gratis. Donations are acceptable from companies willing to sponsor a hive extraction. A photo for your office wall will be supplied and will be added to our “Bee Friendly Companies in Utah” wall.
7. Are there laws against killing honey bees in Utah?
No. It is always better to relocate as a hive provides many benefits to our community. The problem is that when trying to kill the bees they will defend themselves. I have seen places where the home owner has tried to kill the bees and has caused many additional problems, not to mention being stung. If you have hornets or wasps, then can sting and bite again and again. Some people are allergic which causes major concerns. It is best to have a professional brought in and deal with the problem.
8. Insecticides be effectively used on Honey Bees?
Yes, but if they are inside a structure the insecticide is limited not to mention harmful. In many cases I see numerous cans being used only to find they are still there. Honey bees need to be physically removed with their comb and honey. A queen can produce up to 240,000 bees a year. The queen resides in the hive and remains there reproducing bees. If some die, she will just make more. In some cases, it would have been cheaper for the homeowner to hire a professional than paying for all the pesticide, spray foam, repair work, and clean up, not to mention time wasted.
9. Are there other insects that look like honey bees?
Actually yes. Wasps and yellow jackets can build nests in walls or soffit cavities. It can be difficult to distinguish which insect is in your home without getting too close. Taking close-up photos and then enlarging them so you can see markings is extremely helpful. Honey bees create wax style homes. Wasps and other similar insects create grey paper-like balls.
10. Location of the hive may change the type of removal technique. Can you offer various services?
Yes. It is important to treat each situation in it’s own light. Sometimes a rough visual inspection is all that is needed. Other times an electronic scope may be needed to pin-point the area. Even once the area is identified the next step is trying to figure out a way to remove the problem with minimal damage. All work will be explained and approval granted before anything is done.
11. If stung, what can be done?
Get away from the place you were attacked! If it is a honey bee, you need to remove the stinger without pushing more venom into the victim. Scratching it off, using a credit card to dislodge it, or having someone else that can see closer may be the answer. Once the stinger is out, you may put on “Sting Ease” available from your grocery or drug store. This takes the pain away immediately and reduces the swelling. You can consult your pharmacist or doctor for further suggestions. If breathing problems occurs, dial 911 or go to an emergency.
12. We have found bees in our yard, can we just leave them there?
Yes as long as you can tolerate them, they are permitted to stay. If you need assistance or maintenance on this hive, call us and we may be able to assist. A problem occurs when the cavity where the bees live becomes too small. Once a hive is over-crowded bees have an urge to swarm, or divide. This swarming may occur multiple times in a year. If left uncontrolled swarming may cause other problems within the neighborhood. If possible, we suggest moving the colony to a hive box and caring for them that way.
13. Can you locate where the bees are coming from that are visiting my yard?
Yes, this is possible but time consuming. Once bees are full of pollen, water or nectar they ‘bee-line’ it home. If there is a problem and the hive is to be identified, food can be placed out for them. Once the bees find the food charting must be done, google is great for this. Bees typically travel in a 2-3 mile radius. They will also fly a strait line back to the hive. Once the charting is done, a location can be identified!! This is called “Bee Hunting”, it is quite fun when things are slow.