Bees have a very important job — pollination. One-third of the food we eat relies on pollination. Bees are the most important food crop pollinators, especially honey bees. A single bee colony can pollinate 300 million flowers every day! While bees are a very important insect, they can also be invasive. Bees have a powerful sting — and for those with allergies, one bee sting can be deadly.
Beehives can also ferment over time, damaging supporting structures and can even attract other insects.
Are you wondering how to get rid of bees? If you live in Manatee County and have a bee infestation, here’s what you need to do.
Identify the Type of Bees
The type of bee infesting your property depends on the course of action you need to take. Here are the most common types of bees and how to identify them.
Carpenter bees are one of the most common types of bees found in the U.S. and are rampant in Florida. These bees aren’t aggressive and typically hide from humans.
Unfortunately, they prefer hiding in trees and building — potentially causing damage to your structure.
Carpenter bees have yellow and black coloring, like many other bee species. But unlike other bee species, carpenter bees have more fur on their backs and shinier bellies. They’re also relatively small in size — about an inch long.
Next to honey bees, bumblebees are one of the biggest pollinating bee species.
For that reason, they’re hard to differentiate from honey bees. The best way to tell bumblebees apart is by looking at their colonies — bumblebees live in smaller colonies than honey bees.
In addition, bumblebees are rounder have yellow and black hairy bodies — slightly different than the slender honey bees.
Only the queen and worker bees can sting, though they’re not aggressive. Unfortunately, bumblebees are social insects and have no problem flying near humans. If they get too close, they could sting.
Honey bees live in massive colonies, though they don’t like to stray too far from them. You’ll usually find honey bees on farms; they are a major benefit to crops, helping pollinate many crops at a time.
Honey bees are the most distinctive from the other two bee species. Their bodies are slim and oval-shaped. Instead of black and yellow coloring, they have black bodies with gold and brown bands.
While honey bees typically aren’t aggressive, they will sting if they believe their hive is in danger. If you’re trying to get rid of a honey bee hive, it’s best to call a professional.
Method 1: Lure Them to a New Destination
As mentioned previously, bees are important to our environment and shouldn’t be killed. Bees can also be aggressive and will sting you if they see you as a threat. That’s why avoiding contact with bees is the best first step to remove them.
Before trying invasive approaches, try luring them away from the hive. This is ideal if your property has several acres — you can move them to an inhabited part of your property.
Start by finding a spot 15 or 20 feet away from the hive. After you find an ideal spot to move the bees, set up your bait. Bees are attracted to sweet scents, such as fruit. Place chopped up mangoes or pears in a plastic bag and place it in your chosen area.
After a few days, move the bag farther away from the hive. Continue this process until the bees abandon their hive.
Method 2: Drive Them Away Using Pungent Smells
If luring them to a new spot isn’t helping or you can’t find an ideal spot, you can drive them away completely. Bees love sweet scents but hate pungent smells. Great examples include garlic, citronella (a type of plant), and vinegar.
Take your fragrance of choice and sprinkle it near the hive. For garlic, use garlic powder instead of garlic bulbs. If you have a green thumb, grow some citronella in the area.
If you decide to use vinegar, be aware that spraying bees with vinegar directly can harm them. If you get too close, the bees can see you as a threat and may sting you. Instead, you can spray vinegar in the area surrounding the hive.
When to Call a Professional
Did these methods not work? It may be time to call a professional. Those with severe bee infestations should immediately call a professional, especially if the beehive is inside of your home.
Calling a professional is recommended because they will use products and methods designed for that specific bee species. Once they handle the colony, they will remove the hive.
Some pest control services may also prefer using bee removal services, especially if the bee species is beneficial. This requires baiting the bees into the hive, sealing it, and then relocating the hive.
How to Prevent a Bee Infestation
After you remove bees, you’ll want to take measures to ensure they never return.
First, be mindful when growing food and plants. If you love growing fruit or grow certain flowers, understand these can attract bees. Grow plants that bees don’t like, such as citronella.
You’ll also want to make yourself unappealing. Bees are drawn to sweet smells and bright colors.
Avoid wearing perfume and colorful clothing when outside. If you’ll be out for long periods of time, wear dark colors and always spray yourself with insect repellant.
Since carpenter bees live directly on your property, always know where you can spot them. Regularly inspect your crawl space for carpenter bees.
Sheds are desirable to carpenter bees since they’re often uninhabited. You’ll also want to check empty pipes and child’s playsets.
How to Get Rid of Bees: Call a Pest Control Expert in Manatee County
Bees are essential for our livelihood, but they can become a nuisance. Is your Manatee County property infested with bees? If you’re not sure how to get rid of bees, you may need professional help.
Manatee County homeowners can contact us here. We will provide you with a free quote.