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Important Bee Control Spring Maintenance

Got the spring cleaning bug? Time to spruce up the inside and outside of your house? While you’re at it, you might also want to plant some flowers, but don’t forget to bee proof your home.

From now to July is prime swarming time for bees in North America. What does this mean? Honey bees are collecting pollen for next winter. The hive is growing, and it becomes too big, so it splits into two different colonies. The colony that leaves the old hive behind is looking for new digs – and you don’t want that to be your house!  Now is an excellent time to bee proof your residence, so the hive that split doesn’t pick your wall or eave to make their new residence.

Bees pick North Texas houses to move into every day. Many of the calls Little Giant Beekeepers receive are from homeowners that suspect a hive has moved into their house. The unfortunate news is by the point they realize a colony has picked their home as a location, the hive is already established in an eave or wall of their house.

Bees can move into a structure through a hole that is only a quarter of an inch. So, the first step in spring bee prevention is to go around the outside of your house with a caulking gun and seal any holes in the structure. Metal screening also works well for more significant entries. You want to do this before you see any bees on your property because by then it could be too late.

If you see scout bees buzzing around your house, or bees flying inside the house, you should start sealing your holes immediately. If the swarm is already on your property, scout bees may have picked your house for their next hive. The idea is to act quickly because when they find the perfect location, bees move fast!

Another essential spring cleaning item is to remove clutter from your yard. Bees love to move into grills, lawn equipment and unused junk on your property…anything that might provide shelter for a hive. So, it is a great idea to get rid of the junk laying around, so they move on to a better location.

You might be reading this blog for information because you have previously had problems with honey bees. If you had a honey bee infestation in your house, you need to make sure all the honeycomb is removed and the area cleaned out thoroughly. Often the hive is located behind an eave or wall, and people do not go to the trouble to remove the honeycomb after the bees are removed. This is an essential step of the honeybee removal process because leftover honeycomb can attract new bees and colonies. Bees smell the pheromones from the previous bees and move back.

Little Giant Beekeepers provides a turnkey service – from removal, clean-up, and fixing any carpentry after. We make sure there are no leftover honeycombs and pheromones that come with them.

If you suspect a swarm has moved in, please call Little Giant Beekeepers to talk about the next steps to take to remove the bees. We can come safely remove the swarm for a fee and relocate them to an apiary. Call 972-316-9135 for a free consultation.

 

Photo by Alturas Homes from Pexels

The Why and How of Bee Swarms

Spring is about to spring and so are the bees. It is the time of the year for bee swarms.  We already know that bears hibernate in the winter and in a way, bees do too. While we are bundled up in snuggies, with the heater on high, bees are doing the same – staying warm inside the hive. When the weather gets cold bees retreat to the hive and live off the honey they produced in warmer months only to reemerge when it warms up in the spring.

When it starts warming up the queen bee gets to laying eggs. The hive is busy expanding. Sometimes it gets too large for only one leader. If the bees cannot smell the queen bee’s pheromones because the hive gets too big another queen bee is created. As the saying goes, “There’s only room for one queen bee.” One of the queen bees needs to leave the hive. Usually, the original queen bee takes off with about half the colony to find a new home, and this is called a bee swarm. It is nature’s way of expanding the bee population. When a hive swarms it looks like a giant dark cloud of bees flying everywhere.  It can be alarming and even terrifying for some.  Don’t Panic! Surprisingly, the bees are very docile in this “swarming” state.  They are focused strictly on getting to their new home safely and emptying their full bellies of the honey they filled up with to start their new hive.  If you happen to see bees swarming live-in-person, stay still and calm and remember never to swat at them.  The swarming process is swift and they will pass over within just a minute or two.

Clients might call and let us know they are concerned with an enormous swarm of bees resting on their car, fence or sidewalk. A bee swarm sitting in this swarm state is usually just resting on their journey to find a new home that provides more shelter from the elements. In these instances, we usually recommend leaving them alone, if possible for 24-48 hrs.  Then, if the swarm does not move on in a timely manner, Little Giant Beekeepers can come out and safely remove the swarm and relocate it to a safer area – away from people.

If you see a swarm camped out a while in a location that means they are also sending out their scouts to find a new home. All bees have specific jobs. Scout bees head out, “scouting” for the perfect new home. They leave in groups to check out new places to live. This is something our clients need to be aware of.  Hopefully, they pick a hole in a tree, far away from your house. Unfortunately, sometimes they pick your house to move the colony in to. If you see bees in small groups flying around your house, “scoping it” you need to keep watch.  They could be picking a space behind a hole in your brick or eave to move in to. No bueno! If you see a swarm in your yard or tree and see scout bees cruising around looking in your windows, you might want to give Little Giant Beekeepers a call. It is best not to let the bees move into your house in the first place. It is much harder to remove bees once they establish residency in a home’s eave or wall.

If you have a swarm, please call Little Giant Beekeepers to talk about steps to take to protect your home from a swarm moving in. We can come safely remove the swarm for a fee and relocate them to an apiary, so you don’t have to worry about them moving into your structure. Call 972-316-9135 for a free consultation.

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