Commonly Asked Questions

 

What should we do until the removal is complete?

Respect the bees and give them their space. Keep all people, children, and pets at a safe distance from the hive location, especially the first few days after our initial visit. This is a discounted service, we and any of our  members assume no liability.

 

How can I prevent this from happening again?

Your location maybe be considered “prime bee real estate” and for future peace of mind we can place a “swarm catcher” box near the site. Should a new colony choose to settle on your property they will most likely settle in the swarm catcher. In that case just give us a call, and we will empty the swarm catcher and return it to your property resulting in a quick stress free removal for you and the bees. Your cost for a swarm catcher, is at our cost of $25.00. (We buy our boxes through Mann Lake beekeeping suppliers)

What happens to the bees once they are removed from a property?

All rescued bees are transported to our Bee Sanctuary. The bees are monitored, cared for, fed and treated   to increase and build to a strong and healthy hive. Upon returning to full strength and maturity, some rescued hives enter a “Host a Hive” Program. Through this program bees are placed in local “Victory Gardens” or small organic farms. A portion of the proceeds from our bee by-products will benefit local people with disabilities in the Sarasota/Manatee community.

Why can’t I receive a firm number on cost over the phone?

We can provide you with an estimate over the phone given the information we received.  However we will not know the extent of the job until we are on location.  For example:  In the past we accepted a job that we thought  would be “easy”. The home owner stated that the bees were in a small concentrated area and were newly established. The job ended up being multiple very large and highly aggressive colonies that covered a 10ft x10ft space that resulted in over 5 hours of work, additional help and well over 50 bee stings.

Why is there no insurance for bee removal?

 There is not any insurance that is currently available for bee removal due the risks of liability that may be   involved. Beekeepers have to find a way to access the hive and carefully remove the bees, comb, honey which can be more work and time then a quick extermination by a pest control company. Because we don’t know what kind of honey bee we are dealing with we can’t control them from stinging us or someone nearby should they be “mean” bees.  The European honey bees are very sweet and gentle but will sting if provoked after a quite a bit of warning buzzes. Although the European honey bee stings they are not nearly as bad and aggressive as the African honey bee..aka “killer bee”. Unfortunately there is no way for us tell what bee breed  we are dealing with by the naked eye, only through behavior can we guess what we are dealing with. If we do come across a mean hive a sample is sent to a state lab and we wait for instructions on how to proceed with that particular colony.

 

Then why does pest control have insurance?

We believe pest control are insured because they can go in and quickly kill the bees reducing the chance injury and typically do not need remove parts of the structure to kill the bees. Often pest control will release a poisonous powder that rises and spreads where ever it is puffed which is usually at the entrance of the hive. Since they do not have to remove parts of the structure like beekeepers do; the comb and honey remains in the structure. Leaving the dead colony behind will promote roaches and mice to move in, which means you will have to  address those pests at a later date. Since pest control does have insurance and have undergo special training to maintain permits for pest control and their use of chemicals their rates easily start at $400.

 
Why “trap-out” and not just cut them out of the tree or home?

Although cutting out a hive  maybe considered “faster”. When a hive is located within a tree or on the side of a structure , we recommend to “trap-out” rather than “cut-out”. A thorough “cut-out” rescue may require a lot of the tree truck  or structure to be  removed, potentially risking the health and stability of the tree and increased home repair cost .

What is a “Trap-Out”?

The trap works by allowing the bees to freely exit from wherever they’ve chosen to nest, but prevents them from getting back in. This works best if it’s done as soon as possible from the time the bees settle in. A wire cone is placed over the entrance so they may exit to forage. However when the bees return, they will not be able to re-enter the original hive. As the day progresses a mass of bees will accumulate at the base of the cone. We will place a new hive box nearby, and as nighttime approaches, bees will go inside the new hive, making it their new home.

If the original hive is only few days, the transfer process should be complete within 3 or 4 days. However, if the hive has been established for 2 or more weeks, the bees may have already built comb and the queen has probably started laying eggs. In that case, the transference process can takes longer, maybe 3 to 6 weeks, for all of the baby bees to hatch, emerged, and joined the new hive. It is our hope that the queen will also join the new hive.

We will come periodically to inspect the new hive. Once it is determined that most of the bees have relocated to the new hive, we remove the bees from your property and seal the old hive opening with metal mesh screen to protect your tree from further bee occupation.