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Honey Bee Removal and Control

Exposed honey bee nest in the soffit of a house in Signal Mountain Tennessee

Honey bees are the most useful insects in Tennessee and throughout the world. They are tireless pollinators who are vital to crop success, and accordingly they are treated with more respect than most other insects. Unless honey bees are nesting inside a home or other building, or are creating a hazard to humans, they are generally left alone. They rarely attack unless provoked, and the pollinating work that they do is too vital to unnecessarily interfere with.

The reason honey bees pollinate flowers is actually incidental to what they are trying to do, which is gathering nectar. They carry pollen from flower to flower as they forage, but that's not the reason they do it. They're looking for nectar.

Honey bees also are among the most advanced social insects. Every bee in a colony has a job to do, all controlled by the colony's queen using at least two languages that we know of. One is the use of chemical messengers called pheromones and is pretty common among animals in general. The other is a system of gestures and flight maneuvers by which the bees are able to communicate information such as good potential nest locations, the direction and distance to flowers and nectar, and the presence of possible threats to the colony.

Honey bees rarely attack. That would not be in their evolutionary interest because honey bees die after inflicting a sting. When they do attack, however, they do so ruthlessly and in great numbers. The moral of that story is not to give honey bees a reason to label you a threat. As long as they believe you're harmless, they'll return the favor. Antagonize them, and they'll attack with a vengeance.

Honey Bee Swarms

Honey bees establish new colonies when the queen or one or more younger reproductive females (known as "virgin queens") leave the colony with some of the colony's workers. If it's the colony's queen who departs, she'll take most of the workers with her and leave the new queen and some of the workers behind. If it's a virgin queen who departs, she'll take fewer workers along with her. Who goes where, like everything else about a bee colony's life, is controlled by the colony's existing queen.

When the queen and workers depart the colony, they usually travel a short distance and huddle together, usually in a tree, while a few workers, known as "scouts," look around for good nesting locations. When the scouts return, they have a meeting amongst themselves and discuss the various nesting sites they found (seriously), and then return to where the rest of the bees are huddling to report their findings to the queen. Once she gives her approval, the bees will depart as a group to the new location.

Honey bee swarms can be terrifying to people who don't understand what's happening. A swarm of stinger-equipped insects can appear very menacing. But the reality is that a fight is the last thing the young bee colony is looking for. They have no nest and no food except what's in their bellies, and if they don't find a nesting place within a few days, they will die. Picking a fight is the absolute last thing a swarm of honey bees wants to do.

Honey Bee and Bee Hive Removal

As previously mentioned, there is little need to bother honey bees who are nesting outdoors, a safe distance away from places where humans congregate. The bees may be willing to die for their colony, but they're not eager to. If you present no threat to them, they'll leave you alone. Exactly how far away is a "safe distance" depends on the particulars of the situation, the most important being whether anyone in the household is allergic to bee stings.

When honey bees build nests inside homes, businesses, or other buildings, however, both the bees and their nests must be removed. Here's why.

Honey bees build nests in hollow voids. In nature, those voids are usually hollow trees. In buildings, honey bees usually build nests in wall and ceiling voids, soffits, leaky HVAC ducts, and large mechanical equipment like generators. Because the bees "air-condition" their nests by flapping their wings, if the bees are removed without removing the nests, the honey and wax inside the nests will melt. That can cause staining and damage to the house, and also can attract other insects and wildlife.

In most cases, this means that we will have to cut into the wall, ceiling, or other place where the bees are nesting to remove the nest. We keep the damage minimal by accurately locating the nest using a variety of methods including electronic stethoscopes and infrared cameras. We also patch the nest location with sheet rock or whatever other surface was there to begin with before we leave. The customer, however, is responsible for taping, finishing, and repainting the area (or hiring painters to do it for them).

Because a honey bee nest can be quite a distance from the visible entry holes, it's important that you not block those holes or treat them with an insecticide. If the bees can't use their customary entrance and exit holes, they'll find new ones -- and those new ones might be in the living area of your home. So once you call us, just hang tight until we arrive. You don't want to make the situation any worse.

Honey Bee Control Gallery

Here are some randomly-selected pictures of honey bee work we've done in Tennessee and elsewhere.

Please contact us to learn more about honey bee removal in and around Chattanooga, Tennessee. We look forward to meeting you.


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In Auburn Alabama quoting exclusions for gray squirrels today.
by Jason Arruda
Jan 07, 2021 11:01:30 am.

Lots of squirrel and rat calls today. From Birmingham to Anniston.
by Chris Scott
Jan 07, 2021 09:46:52 am.

In Alpharetta, Ga this morning providing a clearance letter to a customer so their buyers can rest assured they’re purchasing a Critter Free home. Did I mention our Warranty is 100% transferable??
by Tim McDavid
Jan 05, 2021 09:29:57 am.

Lots of squirrel calls today. It appears gray and flying squirrels are attempting to take over every attic in the Birmingham and surrounding areas.
by Chris Scott
Jan 04, 2021 05:58:27 pm.

New Blog Post: Happy New Year!
by Webmaster
Dec 31, 2020 10:41:11 am.

New Blog Post: Merry Christmas!
by Webmaster
Dec 24, 2020 11:23:46 am.

Finishing up on a exclusion in Cordele Ga and headed to Valdosta Ga for some trap checking. Good times. Happy Monday.
by Jason Arruda
Dec 07, 2020 10:46:24 am.

Headed down south today to Albany Ga to give a quote for a bat exclusion. Animals in the attic scratching and bats are keeping the customers up at night. Time for us to step in.
by Jason Arruda
Sep 10, 2020 09:42:30 am.

We're Removing a Honey Bee Hive in the Soffit of a House in Chattanooga, Tennessee
by Webmaster
Jul 01, 2020 10:43:50 am.

We have technicians suited up and on their way to remove a large beehive from the soffit of a house in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
by Webmaster
Jun 30, 2020 09:58:12 am.

Jason and Justin Deodorizing an Attic After Animal Removal
by Webmaster
Jun 24, 2020 10:10:29 am.

News: CDC Warns that COVID-19 Lockdowns are Making Rats and Mice More Desperate
by Webmaster
May 27, 2020 09:43:37 am.

Picture of a Honey Bee Swarm at a House in Chattanooga
by Webmaster
May 05, 2020 10:48:49 am.

Video of Justin Sealing Rats and Mice Out of a Loading Dock
by Webmaster
Apr 30, 2020 10:02:16 am.

Video of a Honey Bee Nest in the Wall of a House in Chattanooga
by Webmaster
Apr 22, 2020 09:55:25 am.

Here's a Colony of Honey Bees Following their Queen
by Webmaster
Apr 16, 2020 10:59:04 am.

This Colony of Honey Bees Decided to Build a Nest in a Vacuum Cleaner
by Webmaster
Apr 16, 2020 10:54:12 am.

Noises in your attic? We can help in certain case we can seal and remove animals from your home with no personal contact.
by Dean Scott
Apr 02, 2020 11:16:28 am.

Picture from a Honey Bee Removal Job at a House in Chattanooga
by Webmaster
Apr 02, 2020 10:22:27 am.

From our family to yours we wish you good health and safety. During this uncertain time related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we want to assure you as a approved business for essential Services. Rid-A-Critter remains open. Thanks
by Jason Arruda
Mar 27, 2020 03:07:31 pm.

New Video: The Honey Bees are Hard at Work
by Webmaster
Mar 27, 2020 10:35:31 am.

Here's Dan Humanely Removing Animals from a Glue Trap
by Webmaster
Mar 10, 2020 10:05:57 am.

This Video Shows How to Humanely Remove an Animal from a Glue Trap
by Webmaster
Mar 10, 2020 09:57:33 am.

Just enjoying this Georgia weather this weekend. At my parents house fishing and noticed the wildlife out here where they belong. They can become a nuisance though when they find their way inside your home. In that case give us a call.
by Jason Arruda
Mar 01, 2020 12:24:17 pm.

Well it’s North Ga today. Seeing clients in Buford, Gainesville, Blue Ridge, Blairsville and Hiawassee Ga.
by Jason Arruda
Feb 27, 2020 11:30:35 am.

Rainy days mean animals like to stay in. If you are hearing noises in your attic on this rainy day it could be more than rain.
by Dean Scott
Feb 13, 2020 09:27:56 am.

Going to Bainbridge Ga today for quotes for exclusions. Bats, rats and gray squirrels.
by Jason Arruda
Jan 23, 2020 11:05:03 am.

Excited to be at the Athens pest control conference this week. Let’s talk about wildlife and what services we provide to help.
by Jason Arruda
Jan 06, 2020 11:57:03 am.

New Blog Post: Happy New Year!
by Webmaster
Dec 31, 2019 11:39:15 am.

Want to put a stop to those pesky critters getting in your home for good? We can do that!!
by Jason Arruda
Dec 30, 2019 12:14:14 pm.

Heard it all. Squirrels in my attic, scratching noises in my attic, attic noises, animals partying in my attic, then there’s the crawlspace. Rats in my crawlspace, opossum in my crawlspace and there’s something dead in my crawlspace/attic.
by Jason Arruda
Dec 30, 2019 12:07:59 pm.

New Blog Post: Merry Christmas!
by Webmaster
Dec 24, 2019 11:07:00 am.

The Chattanooga, Tennessee office of Rid-A-Critter provides honey bee removal in the Chattanooga, Tennessee Metro Area, including the counties of Hamilton, Marion, and Sequatchie, Tennesee and the cities and towns of Collegedale, Dunlap, East Brainerd, East Ridge, Harrison, Jasper, Lakeview, Middle Valley, Red Bank, Signal Mountain, Soddy-Daisy, and their surrounding areas.

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