There are 20,000 species of bees worldwide. And most are essential for the environment. But when they make their hives and nests in areas in conflict with humans, they become pests.
Below is a table showing the exact cost and price ranges for bee removal services. They are based on national averages, and they take into account the various options offered to homeowners.
Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management. He manages Pest Strategies now helping homeowners around the world!
Table Of Contents
Bee Removal Costs
|National Average Cost||Cost Range||Minimum Cost||Maximum Cost|
|$750||$50 – $1,500||$50||$2,000|
Here, we’ll show you how those costs are figured. You will also get an idea of the types of problems you’ll encounter with bee removal projects. Then, we’ll assess the difference between DIY bee removal and hiring an expert.
How Are Bee Removal Costs Figured?
There are many variables that pest control companies use to decide how much they’ll charge. Here is a list of the main ones. But keep in mind, there may be others as well.
Location of the nest or beehive
One of the first things a company will ask you about is your location. Bee removal is a specialized service. So, it may be hard to find a bee removal specialist in your area. For that reason, be prepared to pay a trip charge for an expert to drive a few extra miles to your home.
Also, accessibility is a vital part of the cost estimates. Suppose the bee colony is located in a spot where it’s hard to get to. Figure in an extra charge for that. This is especially true for nests located in attics, crawl spaces, and open eaves.
Type of bees
There are unique differences between honey bees, yellow jackets, and bumblebees. And there’s also a variance in pricing between each species of bee. Following is a list of each type and their estimated cost.
- Bumblebees are generally easier to remove since there are so few in a nest. Also, they are not as aggressive as other types of bees. The average cost for bumblebees is between $50 and $150.
- Carpenter bees bore into wood structures such as fences, decks, and trees to construct their nests. They are large like bumblebees, but only the female stings when angry. Pest control services for this type of bee problem will usually run from $150 to $550.
- Africanized honey bees are also called “killer bees.” According to the Texas Apiary Inspection Service, Africanized bees are more aggressive and defensive than other bees. However, they can be controlled the same as other species. The cost to manage this type of bee is usually between $200 and $750.
- Honey bees can usually be removed by a local beekeeper. In most cases, they will charge you a fee, even if they keep the beehive for themselves. However, it’s well worth it to avoid getting caught in a honey bee swarm. The average price for beehive removal is $100 to $1500.
- Wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets are other types of stinging insects you’ll see on occasion. The technician will often notice a nest or hive during a scheduled treatment visit. In some cases, they’ll take care of it at no extra charge.
But you may sometimes have to call the company to make a special trip. If that’s the case, plan on a fee of at least $70 to $150.
Size of the hive or nest
Most of the time, it won’t matter how large the beehive is that you’re trying to remove. The cost of bee removal is the same. However, there are some exceptions.
For example, there may be an extra charge for unusually large hives. This is mostly true if the bee exterminator has to get help. The added workers will increase the price in some instances.
Any pest control company can handle bee extermination as a general rule. But it takes an expert to do it right. So, in some cases, you could pay a little more for a specialist, especially for live bee removal.
There are two instances where bees typically cause damage to a home:
- Damage caused by carpenter bees. When bees carve out a nest in wood structures, it’s crucial to repair the damage. However, this type of fix is usually small, consisting of some wood putty and a paint touch-up.
- Damage caused by the bee removal process. Sometimes honeybees will make their honeycomb in awkward places. These can include crawl spaces and the inside of eaves. The structural damage caused by needing access to these areas will have to be repaired.
In either case, the repair cost could be between $50 and $70 per hour. This doesn’t include the supplies. Also, figure between four to six hours to complete the required repairs.
Signs and causes of bee infestation
The signs of a bee infestation are going to be unique depending on the species. For example, honey bees make their honeycomb in sheltered areas away from the effects of rain, snow, and other weather conditions.
Carpenter bees are often evidenced by the damage they create. Holes in 2X4’s and planks mean that this harmful pest has settled in for the winter.
Bumblebees nest in various locations. These can include holes in fences, dead tree stumps, and openings in eaves and fascia boards. You can also find their nests by watching where they hover around the majority of their time.
Wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets all have their own nesting behaviors. Most are above ground, while a few others are below the surface. But wherever bees make their nests, they can almost always be seen flying near them.
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Health problems caused by bees
The effects of bee stings in most people are generally mild. However, they are still painful. Usually, the attack site can be treated with a small amount of baking soda mixed with water. This DIY paste will often help with inflammation and swelling.
However, some people are highly allergic to bee stings. The result of getting attacked by a swarm can cause the victim to go into anaphylactic shock. Symptoms of this condition include:
- Pale skin, hives, and itching
- Breathing problems
- Swollen tongue
- Weak, rapid pulse
Being stung multiple times for people who are allergic to bees is the most dangerous example. Often, the victim will have to go to the emergency room. And the doctor will then give them a one-time dose of epinephrine in the hope that they’ll recover.
DIY vs Hiring a Professional
If you’re willing to take on a nest removal project yourself, we’ve compiled some home-based options here. These are the basics steps for beehive removal and control:
- Assess the situation. Where is the hive or nest located? Is there easy access, or will you need to remove part of the structure to get to the hive?
- Gather your equipment. Make sure your ladder is already set up properly. Any spray cans you’ll need will have to be with you. Also, be sure to have a plan for a quick exit in case bees suddenly swarm you.
- Use protective clothing. A long-sleeve shirt, welder’s gloves, and a beekeeper veil are a must. These will help minimize the areas bees can sting you.
- Choose your method in advance. For honeybees, you can use a mixture of soapy water. This will kill most of the bees, but you will need several follow-up treatments. With wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets, a can of Spectracide will do.
- Clear the area before spraying. Not all bees will die right away. So, it’s important to have all children and pets removed from the area.
- Spray after the sun goes down. This is the time when bees are the least active. You’ll have less chance of being stung during these hours.
If you happen to be more afraid of the bees than the beehive removal cost, you’re not alone. Most people opt to hire an exterminator for this uneasy task. It’s better to spend the money than endure the pain of being stung several times.
However, most pest control providers will refer you to a local beekeeper when it comes to honeybee removal. The reason is that homeowners don’t want the bees harmed since they are helpful to the environment.
That’s where a beekeeper comes in. They have smokers and other equipment that can calm the bees during swarm removal. That way, the process is less stressful for everyone.
On the other hand, bumblebees, wasps, and yellow jackets could be handled by a typical pest control company. And they are usually ready and willing to take on the task, provided it’s within their ability.
As an example, Orkin takes on bumblebees by using a special dust material containing a strong insecticide. This dry, powdery substance gets into cracks and holes where bees hide. It also engulfs the working bees, so they’ll take the poison back to the queen.
Aptive Environmental eliminates hornets by knocking down their nests. This method gets rid of them quicker. It also reduces the need for widespread pesticide application.
Terminix gets rid of yellowjackets with a unique wasp repellant. Using this safe aerosol spray, the technician can stand back at a distance while treating the nest. And as a result, most pest control companies prefer this method over others.
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What’s the standard control or removal process?
Just like the cost of bee removal, the methods used depend on the type of bee. The size of the nest or hive also makes a difference. Here are the most common examples:
With honeybees, it’s more about relocation than it is about killing the hive. Still, the destruction of the colony is not out of the question. It mostly depends on customer preference and the methods that are available at the time.
If relocation is possible, the beekeeper will start by calming the bees with a smoker device. The bee colony will probably not be fully accessible due to the structure of the home. In these settings, the bees will have to be trapped in a dummy hive.
With this method, the beekeeper uses a screen device that allows the bees into the new hive but won’t return them to the old hive. Once captured, a new queen is introduced. After a few months, the colony will function normally, and the beekeeper will have a new hive for their collection.
In most cases, Africanized bees are not usually kept by beekeepers. Their aggressive nature makes them unsuitable for harvesting. So, the beekeeper will either destroy the adult bees or refer the job to a pest control company.
Bumblebees sting multiple times. Otherwise, nobody would bother trying to get rid of them. However, they are considered to be beneficial for the environment. So, some pest control companies could be reluctant to eliminate them outright.
Bumblebees nest in old trees, stumps, or other wood structures. The technician may decide to chase them away with a natural repellant. Once the bees are gone, the holes are plugged so they can’t return.
The first item in the removal process for carpenter bees is identification. So, the tech will start off with a complete inspection of the building’s exterior. During this time, they are trying to tell the difference between the carpenter bees and other species.
Once a positive ID is made, it’s time to evict the bees from their home. Most companies will employ a dust insecticide for this purpose. Quick-acting, knockdown aerosols are also sometimes used.
Once the carpenter bees are chased away, the next step is to plug the holes. Some pest control companies offer limited, short-term fixes such as caulking and wood putty. But most will advise you on which areas need attention and leave the repairs up to you.
Hornets, wasps, and yellowjackets
Many pest control companies will be glad to get rid of these stinging pests for you. The primary way they do that is with an insecticide called permethrin. It’s strong enough to kill these pests on contact while holding the ones that survive in place.
After the technician disables the nest, it’s time to clean up. Another knockdown spray is used to eliminate any remaining bees. So, all that’s left to do after that is remove the nest and discard it.