Warning! Live Bee Removal!
Posted On Mar 05, 2014
We have recently noted a resurgence of self proclaimed professional beekeepers, new live bee removal companies and some pest control companies offering live bee removal services, many with low cost pricing, and many with “lip service” guarantees. They are particularly targeting the greater metropolitan areas of Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. Their presenting sales approach is that honey bees are scarce because of a phenomena called “Colony Collapse Disorder” (CCD), as has been touted in the news media, and that honey bee colonies and bee swarms, Africanized or not , have value to the environment, to beekeepers, and should at all costs be saved and protected. They generally advertise humane treatment and promise that the honeybees will be hived and maintained. Many will say that they are not African bees and assure you that you did the right thing.
If you employ these people, there are many important questions that you should ask them first:
1. What are your credentials as a beekeeper? Do you have a U.S. Department of Agriculture License? Do you have an Arizona business license? Are you licensed with the State of Arizona Office of Pest Management?
2. What do you intend to do with the bees?
3. What do you intend to do about the honeycomb and bee pheromone scent left at the site?
4. How do you intend to transport the bees safely to the area they will be hived at?
5. Can you guarantee their safety? How will I know?
6. What will you do if the bees come back or I still have bees after your done?
7. Is it really true that you can recondition an Africanized bee colony? How does that work?
8. What is my liability while you are trying to remove them? Are you insured?
9. How much public danger is involved during the bee removal process? Fully explain your procedures.
10. Who is responsible for any structural damage that you may cause during the bee removal?
If you do not get straight answers on any of the above, I recommend that you move on. There is usually a reason that the price is quoted so low – buyer beware!
Realize that many individuals pursuing this are not licensed because they profess to not use insecticides, which are heavily regulated and supervised by the State of Arizona Office of Pest Management for good reason. It is simply a way around licensing and certification. Also, to recondition an Africanized bee colony takes a great deal of work, time, expense and constant vigilance. Most commercial beekeeping companies will not take the time or suffer the expense to do it at all. Many of these “save the bees” companies simply kill the bee swarm or bee colony after they are removed, release them elsewhere or allow them to suffocate during transport.
We are professional beekeepers, bee researchers, and bee pest control specialists. African honeybees are not affected by CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder), are not in short supply, and the public danger an established bee hive can present is significant, potentially lethal and can lead to future area bee infestation through their characteristic of frequent bee swarming.
Some individual beekeepers may actually want to spend the time and expense to wait for three months or more and protect, re-queen and re-condition an Africanized bee hive. Please use caution in searching out these presumptive advertisers. Generally, they are not solving your bee problem and they are killing the bees anyway or making them somebody else’s problem. They dangle a low price for the removal, leave you with a mess, and the real prospect of having future re-infestations at your home.
If you really want to save them, you will have to be patient and search the internet for legitimate beekeeping associations and inquire. If a beekeeper really wants them, he will do it for free and be able to answer the questions above to your satisfaction. Again, buyer beware, you get what you pay for!