Q. Is it Illegal to Kill Honey Bees?

Honey Bee Removal Cape Coral | Punta Gorda

No, it is not illegal to kill honey bees.

However, it is considered bad practice to arbitrarily kill honey bees without at least making an effort to save them.

If people or property are in danger that is one thing.

Dead Honey Bee

Most of the time; however, the bees can be removed live without damaging the property or hurting anyone.

We have seen very few cases where we would recommend having a pest control company come and exterminate the bees.  

Reputable pest control companies will first do everything they can to save honey bees before resorting to extermination.

Killing honey bees is often just a quick fix that doesn’t solve the problem and costs more in the long run.

Have a Question about Honey Bees or Bee Removals?

Simply send us your bee hive removal question and we will post the answer here as a blog post 🙂

    Q. How Many Times do Beekeepers and Bee Hive Removal Specialists get stung by Bees?


    Getting stung by bees kind of goes with the territory when beekeeping and doing bee removal work.

    Even when wearing protective bee equipment, it is still hard to avoid being stung when you work around tens of thousands of bees every day.

    Tim’s  has been stung more times than he can count: hundreds of times every bee season.

    Information about bees & bee stings, featuring Dr. Jamie Ellis is the Gahan Endowed Professor of Entomology in the Entomology and Nematology Department at the University of Florida

    What to do when you get stung by a honey bee?

    You want to use your fingernail or a credit card to “scrape” the stinger out as soon as possible.

    The stinger has a muscle and venom sac attached. The longer it is in your skin, the more venom is injected.

    Never grab it or use tweezers – this will only inject more venom from the attached venom sac by squeezing it’s contents into the skin.

    How to know if you are allergic?

    Photocredit: draxe.com/bee-sting-treatment

    Q. I think I have Africanized “killer” bees at my house. What should I do?

    Don’t panic and do your best to not disturb the bees. Sudden movements and banging on their home is sure to stir them up. They are attracted to sweat and carbon dioxide (our exhale). The best thing to do would be to call a professional bee hive removalcompany asap and keep a safe distance.

    For the most part, Africanized bees do exist in all over Florida. Most of the honey bee colonies we remove are typically your average honey bee colony with some africanized traits. They are not African “Killer” Bees. Every once in a while however, we do come across some honey bees that is so mean that they are hard to work. For these jobs, one must stay completely covered up in protective gear until leaving the job site and keep everyone else inside.

    A more defensive honey bee colony doesn’t necessarily mean it is Africanized. The temperament of the colony is determined by the queen’s genetics and size of the colony. Some breeds are more defensive than others, such as Russian bees. This problem is something that can be remedied. After removing and relocating a bee hive, the temperament of the colony can be changed by simply replacing the queen with a queen of more gentle genetic stock.

    States that have seen the most incidents of Africanized honey bees are Florida, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California. Although the Africanized bees can be a concern, the media has hyped them up a bit in their usual fashion. That having been said, our advice is to be cautious around any kind of bees nest.

    If you are being stung by bees, the best response is to run away covering your nose and eyes until they stop chasing you or to go inside as quickly as possible. If you run into a car, do not get out again even if you have a few bees in the car.  Also, do not to jump into a body of water, as the bees can still be waiting for you when you come up for air.

    PhotoCredit: HealthyMePA | CDC | Red Cross

    Q. What Types of Bees do you Relocate?

    Honey Bee Removal Cape Coral | Punta Gorda

    Our specialty is specifically live honey bee hive removal

    Honey Bee collecting Nectar | Lee Honey Bee

    Honey Bee vs Non-Bees

    We do not remove hornet or yellow jackets nests, bumble bee nests, carpenter bees, mason bees, wasps, cicada killers, or ground bees. 

    Honey Bees & Natives Bees

    We also do not remove bees buzzing around flowers and plants. This is a normal part of pollination and bee life. Once the plants are done blooming, the bees will leave.

    Q. How Much Bee Hive Removal Experience Do You Have?

    Honey Bee Hive Removal Shed Floor Deck Cut Out

    We have completed honey bee hive removals for 6 years and have over twenty years construction experience. When you hire us, know that you are hiring a professional bee removal specialist!

    We teach at two local bee groups, beginning beekeepers and Tim is working on level 3 of UF’s Master Beekeeper Program – the Master Level.

    Q. Do you Guarantee your Work?

    Yes. When GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm & Apiary does the repairs to the access area, we will guarantee that honey bees will not return to the the exact location they were removed from. We do the access area repairs only occasionally when they fit within the scope of our work quoted.

    Normally, we do not do the repairs, then we will not guarantee against re-infestation of new bee colonies. However, we will be happy to inform you how repairs should be done to prevent bees from ever coming back to that spot again.

    In the unlikely event that the problem is not taken care of the first time, GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm & Apiary will continue coming back until the problem is fixed or we will refund part or all of your money. This is at our discretion.

    Note: that after a bee hive removal job is complete and the entry point sealed, it is normal to have a few forager bees coming back. They will not be able to get through the sealed entry point. These forager bees can hang around for up to a week or two before they are completely gone.

    GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm & Apiary reserves the right to withhold this guarantee for certain situations, but will inform the customer before beginning and it will also be stated on the bee hive removal proposal/invoice/receipt.

    Do you have Liability Insurance?

    Honey Bee nest on soffit

    Yes, GreenView Aquaponics, LLC carries $1,000,000 in general liability as well as having property damage coverage.

    In Bee Hive Removals, why is this so important?

    Bee Hive Removal often involves ladder work, spectators (curious neighbors), and opening up people’s homes or business to remove the honey bees.

    Without insurance, you would become liable for the beekeeper’s actions since you hired them.

    Not to mention mishaps that involve property damage. Who’s going to pay for that without insurance?

    Neighbor get stung? Hopefully they were not allergic….

    The scenarios are endless when it comes to risks involving folks working in or on your property. We are very conscientious and insured to be absolutely certain that anything we do that we do it with permission, care, and proper knowledge & training.

    Q. How long does the Bee Hive Removal Job take?

    Lee Honey Bee Hive Removal Trap Out Electrical Panel

    The bee hive removal process from start to finish typically will take about 4 hours, sometimes less or more time depending on the difficulty and size of the bee hive removal job.

    Bee Hive Removal Typical Timelines

    Swarms can be “vacuumed” up in about an hour if they are readily accessible.

    With a “Cut Out”, we often times have to come back in the evening the following day to pick up the “bee hive box”, so we can make sure we have all the foraging bees in the box when we leave. 30-40% of the bees will be out gathering nectar and pollen when we originally arrive to relocate the colony during the day.

    If it’s a “Trap Out”, it can take 6-8 weeks and multiple trips, in order to ensure as many of the bees hatch and come out and eat as much of the resources possible before we close up the opening . Eventually the bees inside the wall will run out of resources since the foraging bees will not be able to come back inside to refill their stores and they will join the others in the box outside the opening. This process is a very managed process and takes some time to be completed properly.

    Each situation can be very different dependent on where and how long a bee colony was able to colonize. The above time frames are approximations based on years of successful bee relocations.

    Q. How to Select a Bee Removal Specialist?

    Tim at the apiary

    Though we hope you choose GreenView Aquaponics Family Farm & Apiary, we know that there are other bee hive removalservices/companies out there. Some do excellent work. Others, you will be sorry you ever hired. So, how do you decide which company to go with?

    Here are some questions that may be helpful to ask:

    1. Will the bees be killed, or removed live and relocated? Since honey bees are so vital to our environment, most reputable companies will not kill them, unless there is an immediate danger to people. We would recommend rescuing the bees as your first choice.
    2. Is the entire bees nest removed or will honey, comb and bees be left inside the structure? The real problem starts when the bees are killed and the hive is not removed. First of all, killing 15,000-60,000 bees is the equivalent size of a cat or other small animal. As the dead bees decompose, it can smell quite horrid. As for any honey left in the walls or floor, pests can chew through it causing the honey to ferment and drip. This will create a huge mess and most likely damage drywall and other building materials. Repairs from the damage can be costly.
    3. Will repairs be included? Some companies only remove the honey bee colony, but do not do the repairs of the access area. It is nice to be able to hire someone who is able to do both the removal and repairs and have everything taken care of in one day. Repairs will be discussed prior to the start of the bee hive removal.
    4. Does the bee hive removal company carry liability insurance? Make sure to ask if not stated on their website. Many hobby beekeepers and those offering “free” or lower cost bee hive removals, do not carry any type of insurance. This becomes a huge problem when someone is injured or causes property damage.
    5. Is the work guaranteed? What if bees return to the same spot the next year or the year after? One thing to know about honey bees is their keen sense of smell. This enables them to return to an old location, where a colony has been in the past no matter how well it has been cleaned out. If the area has not been sealed properly, bees will often come back.
    6. How much bee removal and construction experience does the person have doing the work? Just like with any profession, those who offer unusually low prices often do not have much experience and do cheap work. Experienced companies have completed many bee hive removals, will do minimal damage to your home when accessing the bees, and will do the job right, so you don’t have problems in the future.

    Q. Is there anything I can do while I wait for someone to arrive to remove my bees?

    Bee Hive Removal Soffit Cut Out

    Just remain at a safe distance and keep an eye on the bees, if it’s a swarm.

    • Please don’t spray them with anything (or let anyone else do that)
    • Please don’t poke at the bees or throw rocks to see if you can make them leave. It only makes them behave aggressively and you or someone nearby will get stung
    • Please don’t light anything on fire to see if you can smoke them out unless you want .
    • Please don’t plug up a hole that they are coming in/out of. They will chew another way out and it may be into your home instead of outside or other less desirable location.
    • You can let your neighbors know that we are coming, in case they are allergic to bees or have livestock, so they can take the proper precautionary steps to protect themselves and their animals.