Control of Bees in Buildings and How to Build Protection

Jun 11 07:40 2012 Ma. Theresa Galan Print This Article

Usually scout bees select a hollow tree, but many times the wall voids of homes or buildings are chosen for colony sites. The bees may nest in the wall or attic some distance from where they enter the wall. The nest is the comb on which the bees rest, rear brood and store honey.

Colonies of bees that establish themselves in attics or wall voids of homes near a home can be serious problems. After bees establish permanent homes,Guest Posting they can become very defensive and are much more likely to sting than are swarms. Salvaging colonies from wall voids may not be practical, but in some situations it may be possible. Concerns about Colony Collapse Disorder and the general decline in honey bee colony numbers have persuaded many homeowners to find ways to salvage honey bee colonies.

The homeowner may be able to find a list of local beekeepers willing to remove bees from structures through the local county extension office or even by contacting a local fire station. Be certain to establish an understanding with anyone removing bees regarding cleanup and repairs that may be needed post removal.

In situations where the colony cannot be removed by a beekeeper, exterminating procedures are recommended. It is always best to remove or destroy bees enhived too close to human activity.


Even if you are not sensitive to stings and are experienced in extermination work, it is wise to protect yourself. Distracting stings when exterminating bees in precarious positions may result in a fall from a ladder or roof. Minimum protection should include at least wearing a beekeeper's veil and leather gloves. It is also advisable to wear light colored coveralls with the sleeve and leg cuffs tucked in or closed with strong rubber bands. A bee smoker will help enormously to calm the bees and lessen their tendency to sting.

Foraging bees passing through the dusted area will be killed, but the queen and house bees (bees that stay home to take care of brood, etc.) may continue to live for some time. When house bees (young bees that remain in the hive) mature to take on field work chores, the colony may recover, unless the insecticide treatment is reapplied. Quicker and safer results will be received if the nest itself is treated.

The nest can be located sometimes by tapping the wall with a hammer and listening for an answering buzz from the bees. When the nest is located, a hole may be bored, preferably through the outside wall, so the insecticide can be applied onto the nest. Swarms are more easily killed soon after they enter the building. Established swarms are best killed in late winter when their numbers are low. The best time of the day to apply the insecticide is in late afternoon when all the bees are at home. The bees will be less cross on nice days than when the weather is overcast or rainy. Do not plug the hole immediately after dusting the nest because this may force agitated bees into the living quarters of the home.


After the bees are killed, it is best to remove the nest if it can be done without causing extensive structural damage. Remove and discard the comb and honey. Do not salvage these materials if the colony was treated with insecticide. If the nest is not removed, the wax may melt or be riddled by wax moth larvae and begin to leak honey. If there is much honey it can seep through interior walls, leaving a permanent stain. Bees from other colonies can also be a nuisance around the home as long as honey remains to be robbed from the killed colony. Other scavenging insects, such as carpet beetles, are also attracted to killed bee colonies. After a dead colony has been removed and the structural damage caused in removing the colony has been repaired, plug up all entrances through which other bee swarms can enter. Older homes which may have cracks in walls or under eaves are likely candidates for honeybee invasion. These holes should be plugged or screened prior to the time bees begin to swarm to prevent colony establishment. Odors left by the colony can linger for a long time and attract other swarming bees.

 For more information, check the links below:

bee control northshore, insect control

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About Article Author

Ma. Theresa Galan
Ma. Theresa Galan

Graeme Stephens has been running the largest owned carpet cleaning company
in new Zealand for 24 years. IICRC qualified "master restoration technician"

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