We treat two main types of Bee Elimination jobs: Hives and Swarms. The important thing to note is that 100% of the time we are dealing with Feral Colonies of Africanized Honey Bees or AHBs. These colonies, in hive or swarm, are not managed bees nor will they allow themselves to be managed. They do provide a service to the environment by pollinating, but they are in invasive species to North America and pose a threat to anyone that comes close to their hive. There is no decline or Colony Collapse Disorder - CCD of these feral populations. AHB are constantly on the move and dividing the hive.
A Hive is an established colony of bees that has workers coming and going from one or more entrances. They have established honeycombs to store honey and to lay the eggs produced by the Queen. The egg, larvae and pupae stages will be overseen by workers to clean, feed and nurture until they reach adulthood. In most cases we eliminate a hive through various methods from vacuuming, soapy water to chemical dusts, liquids or vapor strips. There are no successful "hive removal" processes. The colony will simply defend to the death of their hive to protect the brood (young) & the Queen. After eliminating a Hive it is best to remove all dead bees, honeycomb and seal the openings if possible.
A Swarm is when a colony has divided or abandoned a former hive. This occurs for many reasons, but partly it is for survival. When we are called out, it is usually when the swarm has landed and are resting before moving on. This may be for a few minutes or several days. Beyond three days, they are setting up housing. Although these calls have diminished over the past couple of years with our Bee Aware Safety Training and offering our knowledge of bee behavior, we still receive many work orders for Swarms. Swarms are much less aggressive in this state. Their main concern is for their Queen. They almost always move on, but where do they go? AHB instinctively find poor choice for hives as it relates to humans. They choose small dark locations such as water & valve boxes, electrical transformers, wire spools, vehicle fenders and eaves of homes. This is where we interact with them often. In a Swarm they will attack, if disturbed, to defend the Queen. Our process for hive removal is vacuuming up the Swarm or to drench with soapy water. This keeps them from flying everywhere and causing harm. Removing a Swarm can be done, but not without great loss to the Colony. The hotter the temperatures the less likely they will move. The end result is an Africanized Feral Swarm/Colony that is still waiting to move and may wind up back in a location that is a danger to humans again.
We assess every job individually with our Primary objective, Safety of Personnel and the Public. Our Secondary objective is to ensure Work is not being held up and Personnel can continue with their work.
There has been a major push for relocation and non-elimination of bees as "Pollinators" due to Colony Collapse Disorder. The only studies that show there is any bee decline are those of managed European Honey Bee hives. These bees are raised for honey and are docile to handle and manage. This is not and never has been our target pests. We will do everything to preserve them.