No one wants a bee hive in their home, but how much will it cost you to have one removed? Our research finds the average cost for bee hive removal is $354 with a low end of $0 and a high end of to $2,000. Your final cost for bee hive removal will vary based on the size of the hive, the type of bee, method of removal, and other factors.
In this article, we’ll help you calculate your bee removal cost by covering all the factors influencing your final budget.
On This Page
- The Cost of Professional Bee Removal
- Extermination or Removal?
- Cost of Removal vs. Extermination
- DIY Bee Hive Removal
- FAQ About Bee Hive Removal
The Cost of Professional Bee Removal
Most homeowners would rather have an experienced professional get rid of their bees. This is definitely the safest route and probably the most effective. Here we’ll run down the factors that are most likely to influence your final price tag.
Free Bee Removal
You may have heard some beekeepers remove bees for free. This is sometimes true, but usually only in very specific circumstances. A beekeeper might take bees off your hands simply to gain the bees for his or her farm.
However, a beekeeper will be interested only in honeybees. If you call about removal of a hive of wasps or hornets, expect to get turned down.
Beekeepers also usually only collect wild swarms that haven’t started building a hive. If you have a ball of bees on one of your trees that has only been there for a few days and could be easily collected, you might save a buck or two.
If you have bees that have established themselves anywhere in your home, in the walls, under the soffit, or in your attic, then removing these pests is going to take a lot of specialized work. You won’t be able to get someone to remove your bee hive for free.
Furthermore, the type of beekeepers that would offer free removal might not advertise this service. Search for beekeepers’ associations in your area. There’s no guarantee, but you might find someone who will remove your bee hive for free.
Swarm removal is one of the least expensive ways to get rid of bees. When a swarm of bees moves in, they’re looking for a new home but haven’t picked a place to settle down.
Swarms appear when a hive has grown so large it decides to split apart. An old queen will set out with a swarm of bees to find a new hive location.
How to spot a swarm of bees: You’ll see something like a large ball of bees crawling over each other, typically on a tree branch.
If you just discovered a swarm on your property, try waiting a day or two. The bees might move on to a new location. Once the bees have been in one place a few days, they’re probably setting up shop.
Swarm removal is the only method of getting rid of bees that someone might do for free. Often it simply entails someone with a bee suit brushing the bees into a sturdy box. Here are the prices you can expect for this service.
Factors that Influence the Price of Bee Hive Removal
The ultimate cost of your bee nest removal will come down to several key factors. The biggest cost is usually not for exterminating bees but for repairing the parts of your home the bees have damaged.
Here we’ll list these pricing factors for you and discuss how they impact your cost of bee hive removal so your bill won’t have any surprises.
Types of Bees
The type of bee can change how much you’re charged for hive removal. This can be for a variety of reasons. Some bees are more dangerous and harbor a greater risk. Also, some bees are more environmentally important and thus better to relocate than exterminate.
There are also some bees that tend to do more damage to a home.
Here’s a look at different bee types and their removal costs:
Where the bee hive is located can affect how much you’ll be charged for removal. Why? Some areas of your home or property are going to be easier to get to than others for bee hive removal, and some areas will require more repair once the bees are gone.
Honeybees typically nest in trees while mason bees and sweat bees nest in the ground. Carpenter bees are the ones you really have to watch out for. They’re building nests in your walls.
Size of Infestation
The size of your infestation can determine the difficulty in removing it. Nests can grow up to 4 feet in length and can include over 80,000 individual bees.
Bee hive size will vary based on species. Bumblebees form nests of only 50 to 400 bees, whereas honeybees average 30,000 to 60,000. A honeybee nest typically needs about 6.5 cubic gallons of space. In general, you should expect to pay more to remove a larger bee population.
Repairs After Bee Hive Removal
Easily the largest factor you can expect to influence the cost of removing your bees will be the cleanup and repair your house needs afterward. After any major bee hive removal, you may need a professional carpenter to repair walls, ceilings, or roofing. The cost can quickly add up.
Here we’ll break down some of the most common home repairs needed once the bees are gone and how much you can expect to pay.
The wide price range for repairs is because structural damage from bees can vary significantly from infestation to infestation.
|Soffit replacement||$6 to $20 per linear foot|
Extermination or Removal?
There are two major methods for removing bee hives: bee extermination and live bee removal.
Extermination is simply the process of poisoning the bees so that you’ll never have to worry about them again. However, there are some major drawbacks. The poisons themselves are highly toxic, and can be harmful to children and pets, especially if sprayed in the home.
There are also ethical concerns with killing bees that are pollinators essential to agriculture and ecosystems. Bumblebees, honeybees, and sweat bees in particular help plants reproduce. Wasps are hunters and can play an important role keeping local insect populations in check.
Some bees are also going to be more dangerous than others. For example:
- Bumblebees are rarely aggressive and stings are unusual.
- Honeybees, while not aggressive, can sting when they feel threatened.
- Wasps tend to be more aggressive and you should stay away when possible.
Spraying poison in the hive can also have unintended consequences, as bees can carry the poison to other nearby hives, killing off more of these useful insects than intended.
Bee removal is a far more ethical way of getting rid of these pests. Simply reach out to a beekeeper or bee removal specialist in your area. They may come to your property, relocate the bees, and destroy the hive. This will keep bees from coming back without damaging a precious resource.
Cost of Removal vs. Extermination
With removal or extermination, you’re hiring someone with very specialized skills. This typically comes with a price tag.
You’ll notice a wider range for removal because sometimes you can find a beekeeper who will relocate your pests for free, but it can cost a lot if you have bees in a difficult area.
DIY Bee Hive Removal
Removing a bee hive on your own can be a daunting and dangerous task. Nevertheless, some homeowners might opt for this method instead of springing for that exterminator.
Here we’ll cover some of the pros and cons.
Pros: The best thing about doing anything yourself is that you’re going to save money. Bee removal can be expensive, especially if your home needs repair afterward.
Cons: There are a lot of drawbacks to trying to remove a bee hive yourself. The first is safety. Anyone with bee allergies should know to stay away from this project. However, even if a bee sting won’t kill you, know that there is a high chance of getting stung.
Also, bee hive removal can be difficult and require special skills.
Finally, repairing and cleaning up afterward is going to be a chore that often requires carpentry knowledge and special equipment.
How to Remove a Bee Hive
There are several methods to get rid of a bee hive yourself. Here we’ll go over some of the most common.
Soapy Water Spray
If you’ve decided to exterminate your bee hive, soapy water spray is one of the most effective methods. Soap is a surfactant. This means it makes water “wetter.” More of it will get through the bees’ exoskeletons, causing them to drown.
A mixture of tap water and regular dish soap is all that you need for this DIY extermination solution. You can also buy a variety of over-the-counter bee sprays.
However, keep in mind that this isn’t going to work all at once. You will have to spray the hive several times over the course of a week to get rid of all those insects.
Smoke the Hive
Smoking the hive is a great way to relocate the bee colony to another location. To do this, you will need some special equipment — a smoker and pellets to light.
Here’s how to smoke a bee hive:
- Remove the hive at a time when the fewest number of bees are inside. A warm sunny afternoon will be ideal because most of the bees will be out of the nest, gathering nectar and pollinating flowers.
- Light your smoker and release your smoke around the bee infestation.
- Knock down the hive with a scraping tool — after the bees are subdued.
- Place the hive in a bee box and relocate it to the local beekeeper of your choice.
Cost of Materials and Equipment
|Bee Smoker Pellets: $15 to $30|
|Bee Smoker: $17 to $50|
|Beekeeping Suit: $50 to $150|
|Bee Hive Box: $80 to $200|
|Total DIY Cost Estimate: $167 to $445|
Safety Measures for Bee Hive Removal
Removing a bee hive by yourself can be dangerous. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to lessen the danger.
Know whether you’re allergic to bee stings
Being aware of your allergy status can mean the difference between life and death. Talk to your doctor before attempting bee removal. Also, know whether you have experienced any of the following symptoms when stung in the past:
- Trouble breathing
- Heart palpitations
- Throat tightness
- Light-headedness or fainting
Wear Appropriate Protective Gear
If you have a full bee suit lying around, that would be ideal. Otherwise wear clothing that covers your entire body, including safety glasses and a mask. Also, make sure to tuck your pants into your shoes or boots to keep the bees out.
DIY vs. Cost of Professional Bee Hive Removal
Relocating the bee hive on your own will run you an average of $306. This is if you want to do a humane relocation. Spraying it with soapy water will only cost you a bottle of dish soap. Hiring a professional for bee hive removal can cost you up to $2,000, depending on repair work.
Is it worth it to hire a pro to remove a bee hive? This largely depends on what type of infestation you have. Any bee hive damage inside your house could require a lot of carpentry and repair, and may require special skills and equipment.
Also, if you want to humanely relocate the bee hive, you will need somewhere to move it. You also will need to get a beekeeper involved. We recommend DIY removal only for hives that are outside your home and easy to take down.
FAQ About Bee Hive Removal
Bees may certainly try to return to the spot of their former nest. This is why it’s important to fully scrape off the remains of the hive and clean the surface thoroughly. Bees will return by sense of smell.
Repeated exposure to pesticides has been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and birth defects. It is poison. Make sure you understand the risks of using an insecticide, especially if the bee hive is near your home, or if you have children or pets.
It’s difficult to predict the exact cost of bee hive removal because the most expensive part will be repairing damage to your home. This depends on how much damage the infestation caused, and the price of repairs can vary widely.
Unfortunately, most homeowners insurance does not cover bee hive removal. Damage caused by bees is considered “damage over time” rather than “sudden damage,” and will be excluded from most policies.
Many cities and states throughout the U.S. have enacted laws banning the sale and use of certain pesticides designed to kill bees. If you’re planning on DIY extermination, check local rules before you proceed.
Now you should have a clearer picture of how much you’ll pay for bee hive removal services. Keep in mind your priorities when deciding the right bee hive removal method for you.
- If safety is your top priority, you should hire a pro to remove the bee hive.
- If you’re mainly looking to save money, you can risk removing the hive yourself.
Also, consider whether you would rather have the bees removed humanely or exterminated with poison. Relocating your bees to a farm is more ethical and better for the environment.
However, it will also be harder to relocate bees on your own. If you opt to hire a professional to remove your bee hive, find a pest control pro near you to get rid of your bee problem without getting stung.
Main Photo Credit: Pexels