Honey bees are overwhelming beneficial and essential insects, especially in agricultural states like Georgia. Their tireless pollination activity is vital to our agricultural economy. That's why more so than any other insect, honey bees are treated with respect. As a general rule, they should be left alone to do their work unless there's a good reason to remove them.
The most common reason why it becomes necessary to remove a honey bee colony is when the bees build their nest in a place where it poses a risk to people. Honey bees usually don't attack humans, but if they feel threatened they can get extremely aggressive and sting in great numbers. For people who are allergic to bee stings, this can be fatal. So when honey bees get into homes or other human-occupied buildings, or when they build their nests very close to playgrounds, athletic fields, pools, recreation areas, or other places where humans gather, they have to be removed.
Unlike the case with other stinging insects such as wasps and hornets, when removing a honey bee colony, the nest itself must be removed. That's because the nest contains honey and beeswax that will melt once the bees are removed. They cool it with their wings, so once they're gone, the honey and wax will melt. Aside from making a big mess, this would create a fire hazard and attract other insects and animals if it were left inside a wall or ceiling; so we have to cut through the sheetrock or other building material to physically remove the nest. This is unavoidable.
Fortunately for our customers, our crews are equipped with the latest cutting-edge infrared imaging equipment that allows them to "see" honey bee nests even when they're hidden inside walls and ceilings. This allows our technicians to accurately locate and neatly remove the entire hive with a minimum of cutting, making for easier repairs.
Honey bees are common in the Athens, Georgia area and throughout most of the United States. They are advanced social insects that live in colonies of hundreds or thousands of individual bees, with a highly-developed division of labor, and at least two languages: Bees are able to communicate by way of pheromones (chemical messengers that the bees secrete), and also by way of a complex language of flight movements by which they can communicate things like the location of nectar or the presence of threats to the nest.
It is likely that it is this honey bee "body language " that accounts for the speed with which the members of a bee colony can muster up a detail to defend the colony against threats. Honey bees are not especially aggressive and usually don't bother humans who casually walk past their nests or browsing areas. But once they believe that you're a threat, they will quickly form a battalion to attack in great numbers.
At the center of the colony's activity is the Queen, whose primary role is reproduction, and whose pheromones regulate many of the colony's activities. A healthy queen honey bee can lay between 1,000 and 1,500 eggs a day, and usually is the mother of all or nearly all the bees in the colony.
Very often, the most difficult part of treating a honey bee problem is finding the nest. Because honey bee nests contain honey, leaving the nest in place is not an option. Without the bees to cool it, the honey will melt, staining the walls or ceilings around it and attracting insects and other vermin. So a proper honey bee job includes removal of the nest.
The problem is that very often, the actual nest can be hidden in a wall, ceiling, soffit, or other void, quite a distance from the holes where we see the bees entering and exiting. Rather than tearing up your entire house looking for a bee hive, we have a variety of methods that we can use to locate it with precision. These methods range from simple stethoscopes to listen for the bees' buzzing, to high-tech infrared cameras that let us "see" the nest inside walls and ceilings.
By whatever means we're able to do it, precisely locating the honey bee nest allows Rid-A-Critter technicians to remove it with a minimum of cutting and fuss; so if it's necessary to cut open the Sheetrock to remove the nest, we know exactly where to do it.
Having the right equipment is just one of the things that sets Rid-A-Critter apart as the region's leader in honey bee removal. If you have a problem with honey bees, please contact us for a speedy, scientific solution.
Honey Bee Control Gallery
Here are a few pictures of honey bee extraction jobs we've done in the Athens area.
Infrared photo of honey bees in a chimney
Locating honey bees in a ceiling
Beehive removal in Greensboro, Georgia
Honey bees built a nest in a vacuum cleaner
Difficult honeybee removal job at a hotel
Honey bee hive in a soffit in Athens
Colony of honey bees swarming around their queen
Honey bee swarm on the limbs of a tree
Honey bee foraging on a catnip flower
Brad removing a honey bee comb from a wall
Close-up of a piece of honeycomb