The South Carolina Mid-State Beekeepers Association

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Please don't spray them.
Help us save the much needed and important Honey Bee!
Please read the information below to help you determine that you indeed have a honey bee swarm (not honey bees in the walls of your house, etc.). Regardless, do not spray them! Visit the links below to find a beekeeper in your area. Beekeepers like to recover swarms and help others in the process. If you hang around they'll teach you some things about bees too. They will need to know the particulars like, "I have a swarm of bees hanging in a bush in my front yard at 5555 East Main St, Irmo, SC."  A beekeeper will hive them where they will have the greatest chance of survival.

Are they Honey Bees?

If you are unsure about whether you have identified honey bees, visit our All About Bees page to see if you indeed have a honey bee swarm that you would like removed. Many types of bees and wasps, not just honey bees, are active in the spring and summer. If you believe you have a honey bee swarm, visit http://www.bees-on-the-net.com

Swarms

Swarms of honey bees are usually very temporary occurrences. They may be present in your yard for just a few hours or several days.  During this time, honey bees are usually quite calm. They are simply waiting to move on to their new home.  If, after having ascertained they are honey bees, you feel you would prefer to have the bees removed, visit http://www.bees-on-the-net.com and find a  beekeeper close to your location. If you still have questions Email Us Here


Bees in Buildings and Trees

Occasionally, bees or wasps will make their home within your walls  or a tree on your property. While getting them out may be tricky, it is worth finding out if it is possible.  Read more about why you should have them removed instead of exterminating them below. 
 
Typically beekeepers do not do removals  from structures  or trees, but some do. Removals from homes are most often a fee for service situation. To assist you in your search, use the external link below to find a beekeeper or business that can help you remove unwanted bees from your structure or tree. The list will take you to a nationally maintained list of South Carolina beekeepers that includes individuals and businesses that do removals, etc. 

Mid-State Beekeepers Association does not recommend, make referrals, or try to connect beekeepers and homeowners for removals. Removals necessitate a specific skill set not taught in beekeeping and because of this we do not want to give the impression of sending someone that,  in fact,  may or may not possess those skills. You will find on the national list (below) both individuals and local businesses that wish to be contacted for cutouts or removals. To insure you are protected, we recommend you consider experience, contractor licenses, insurance, and satisfy yourself with the business or individual prior to entering into a contract for services.


We hope this external  link assists you in your search to find someone locally:
http://www.bees-on-the-net.com

For more information on bees in structures visit Clemson Extension's webpage: Honey Bee Colony Removal From Structures.
Reasons to NOT spray insecticides on honey bee swarms, or when found inside your home.

Last year, while responding to honey bee swarm calls, on more than one occasion I arrived only to find that the owner had already sprayed insecticide on the bees. This is almost always a bad idea for several reasons.

First, if it's a swarm, local beekeepers will typically gladly lend a hand to help you remove the bees and often at little or no charge. You get the bees removed, save yourself and your family exposure to insecticide, and get to feel good about saving one of our environment's most valued pollinators.

If the bees have established a colony within your home things get more complex. Always consult the advice of a bee removal service before spraying insecticides. Last year, I responded to a swarm call that turned out to be an established colony in a home. The lady of the house was standing outside the home spraying the colony entrance with insecticide. She had already depleted one can and was working on her second. While it may have been as easy as removing a small piece of soffet to extract the bees, I no longer was going to risk bringing back chemically laden bees to my home bee yard. But there is more to it that that. Aside from all her children standing around getting a good dose of the overspray from the can, she was killing the flying bees which feed and support the hive. This meant that thousands of larvae would die shortly thereafter and leave her with a rotting odor inside her home in the days that followed.

Another call I received in late summer had me arrive to find an inpatient landlord spraying inside an attic. He told me that he determined that the bees clustered on the outside were actually entering the house and had established a hive in the attic. He thanked me for coming, but said he didn't have time to wait as he hoped to have the house rented later that day. Before leaving I told him that unless he wanted a damaged ceiling, drywall and furnishings, he should consider having the hive removed because without the bees fanning the wax comb, the comb would melt releasing perhaps gallons of honey, and he'd be receiving complains from his new tenants. (not to mention the smell of decaying bees and larva and attracting ants, roaches, and other pests for months to come).

In closing, consider that spraying the bees is a poor effort to quickly eliminate a complex problem, and will often lead to more expensive problems in the days that follow. The time spent consulting a local beekeeper or bee removal service first is time well invested.