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Angie’s List: Dealing with a Bee Infestation

(WGGB) — You’re probably expecting a few guests this summer, but what if 50,000 guests made a surprise visit — and had no plans to leave?

That’s the size of the average bee colony and while you certainly don’t want them taking up residence in your home, you may not want an exterminator fumigating your place.

“People always ask me if I get stung a lot. I have this really smart answer. I say not as many as I’ve been asked,” says beekeeper Ross Harding.

No one wants bugs in their home, but with honey bee colonies dying in big numbers, many homeowners are turning to live removal.

“Live removal is really a great thing because basically you’re just relocating the hive. You’re not killing any bees. You’re removing the entire colony and their comb and you’re sealing up that hole, so no bees will return, but then you can take that hive somewhere where they are actually wanted,” Harding adds.

However, before you hire the first bee specialist you find, Angie’s List says there are several important questions to ask.

First: what do your services cover? Since many experts only focus on bee removal, if they cut into your ceilings or walls, you may have to hire a separate contractor to repair the damage.

It’s also important to ask how experienced they are — and if they will remove the honey comb. If a honeycomb is left unattended, it will melt into a sticky mess that could seep through your walls, and attract more bees.

“Getting rid of bees is not a do-it-yourself project. In fact, last summer when I had bees attacking my kid’s swing set, I called in a professional and the reason is you might not realize how big of a problem it is until you’re actually in the midst of fixing it. You might see a few bees, but there might be a lot more behind where you can’t see. Hiring a professional can make sure it’s done safely,” says Angie Hicks of Angie’s List.

Harding explains, “A lot of people see bees coming and going from their house and one of the first instincts is to spray. If you were to spray an entire can of bee killer in that hole, yeah, you are going to kill a bunch of bees and you might notice them stop coming and going for a couple of days, but the colony goes way far back into the house or wherever and you’re not killing all the larvae either, so you’ll kill a bunch of bees but down here is a bunch of living bees.”

In-home bee removal can cost anywhere from $200 to $800.

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WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.
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