There's an old saying to describe particularly industrious folks - they are said to be "as busy as a bee." Aside from the saying's alliterative charm, the saying's message also rings true: bee's are among Mother Nature's busiest little critters.
Although farmers and folks with big tracts of land are likely to be accustomed to a beehive or two on their property, suburbanites might find the buzzing of a whole hive of bees distressing. Here's a quick guide to help you prevent bees from setting up a hive outside your suburban house (and how to get rid of them if they do).
Bee Gone, Before Arriving
The average cost to remove a bee hive from your property is around $200. However, you can prevent these industrious little creatures from calling your home their home for much less.
When searching for a new place to call home, bees look for two features: insulation and protection. A significant crack in your home's foundation, a gap in your home's siding, or a hollow in a tree in your yard are prime real estate for bees.
To prevent these buzzing invaders from colonizing your home or yard, you should try to fill as many of these cracks and gaps as possible. Cement caulking and spray foam insulation are among the cheapest and easiest products to use for these types of repairs. Because bees need to stay warm during the winter, they far more likely to build a home on the south-facing side of a location and/or the opposite direction of the prevailing winds in your area. Focusing on these areas is often the most efficient way to utilize your bee prevention efforts.
Bees, just like bears, go into a state of hibernation in the winter. Thus, they are much more likely to arrive from late spring to early fall. Thus, it's always a good idea to canvas your property both when temperatures begin to rise and when they begin to fall.
Bee, Be Gone
If a beehive has taken root on your property, do not despair; you can likely handle the problem yourself with just a few easy steps.
First, after you've located the hive, you'll need the following equipment: light colored, full coverage clothing (long sleeve shirt and full-length pants), a high-pressure hose or attachment, spray bottle, and some common household cleaning products (dish soap and vinegar).
Once you've amassed the items above, you begin the process by dressing for the part. Aside from wearing appropriate clothing, you want to skip the perfume/cologne and/or deodorant. Bees are not only attracted to dark, primary colors, but also to floral smelling products like perfume or deodorant.
Next, you want to approach the beehive at the coolest part of the day. In fact, if live somewhere particularly warm and have access to a spotlight, you may want to tackle this job at night when bees are least active.
Allowing a safe distance (at least 10 feet), spray the hive with the maximum amount of water pressure available to you. As you spray the hive, pay attention to how the bees are behaving. When you notice that bees are fleeing the hive in mass, you retreat to the safety of your home or another enclosed space. After waiting twenty to thirty minutes for the bees to scatter, repeat the process again. For most average-sized hives, you will need to repeat this step several times.
When you've significantly damaged the hive, you can then spray it with a mixture of equal parts water, vinegar, and dish soap. This solution will kill any remaining bees and discourage other bees (or wasps) from trying to move in. Once you observe that the beehive is inactive, you can then safely remove it with a shovel or rake.
Bees can be an annoying and dangerous addition to your suburban spread. Fortunately, you can easily prevent or remove them from your property. If you don't want to tackle the job on your own, consider hiring a professional like those at ASAP Bee Removal.