Frequently Asked Questions

I have bees, should I worry?

When honey bees are swarming they are not concerned with defending their hive.  They are in the process of looking for a new location to take up residence and therefore usually do not sting.          Should you worry?  It all depends on you and your situation.  If you or someone else nearby is highly allergic to bees, then yes you should be extremely cautious.  With all the bee activity it is possible for a bee to land on someone and accidentally get smashed causing a sting.  If a sting does not pose a medical threat to you or anyone else nearby, a new swarm should not pose much danger.  Once a colony becomes established, however, bees become much more defensive of their territory.  When they have honey and brood (their young) they become more aggressive and more prone to sting.                              In short, you need to be the guide as to your situation

I have bees, what should I do?

What you do depends on your situation.  The first thing you need to do is determine what your comfort level is with bees.  If you are not at all comfortable and want them removed, call someone to help you do so right away.  If the bees are a new swarm which is completely exposed (hanging in a tree or bush or in a ball under the eaves of your house for example)  and you can let them sit for a day or two, they are most likely resting and will move on to some other permanent home.  If the bees are in a structure such as a wall, atic, or hollow tree, the bees should be dealt with.  Depending on how accessible the colony is removal can be fairly difficult.  Another thing that increases the difficulty level is how established the hive is.  It the hive is relatively new there probably will not be too much comb to deal with.  If the hive has been established for a few months, there can be one hundred pounds of wax, honey and brood or more.  It is possible to close bees into a structure but this definitely NOT recommended for several reasons.  First, there will invariably be another entrance or two or three.  If the bees are in a wall the last thing you want to do is force the bees into your house by plugging all their outside entrances.  Second, if wax, honey and brood are sealed in, these become attractants to other pests such as rodents, moths, etc after the colony has died out.  Lastly, bees normally keep their hives cool by fanning in hot weather.  If there is comb left containing honey, it can melt in hot weather and cause staining to walls, ceilings, etc.  The best thing to do is to physically remove the entire hive, bees, comb, and all.

Do I have African “Killer” bees?

Ventura County was declared “Africanized” several years ago.  We have not had any of the sensationalized attacks the media likes to hype, but the “killer” bees are here.  With that said, there are several ways to determine whether the bees you have encountered are African honey bees or if they are the less aggressive, almost identical, European honey bee.  Over time several behavioral differences between the two types of bees have evolved.  European bees generally keep a much larger colony and store more honey presumably to allow them to survive the colder European climate.  Their African counterparts evolved in a much warmer climate where it was an advantage to keep smaller hives and swarm year round to maximize the number of colonies.  Therefore swarms that are small (volleyball or smaller) or that are found during late summer, fall or winter should be considered very likely Africanized.  Another behavior characteristic of African bees is they are commonly found at or below ground level.  If you find a hive in a water meter or valve box, it too is likely Africanized.                                                                            The only way to tell for sure whether the bees you have are Africanized is to test them.  Testing can be done on of two ways.  First, a sample can be genetically tested but this is fairly expensive and takes quite a bit of time.  Second, an experienced person can make a fairly accurate assessment by taking measurements of a dozen or so bees.  This test is not as definitive as the genetic testing but can be done much more quickly with a relatively accurate result.

How will you remove my bees?

We do not use pesticide of any type as most pest control companies do.  We do all removals by either dropping the swarm directly into a box or using a vacuum to suck the bees up.  If the box method is impractical, the swarm is simply sucked into the vacuum chamber.  The bees are then taken to a safe location where they are placed in a bee box.  The queen of the original hive is killed and replaced with a new queen to keep the genetic lines what we want.  Any extra hives are provided to a local bee keeper.  If the hive is well established and there is a lot of comb that has to be dealt with, often the bees are simply vacuumed up and the comb is manually removed.  The survival rate for this type of situation goes down because of all the honey that invariably is sucked up with the bees, causing them to get sticky and not survive the process as well.  If there are large pieces of comb, it is possible to string the comb up into frames which are then placed in boxes, but this is a rather tedious and time consuming process.  It is possible to do but we rarely do this.

Why should we use you?

If you have bee problems there are several reasons why you should use us.   1)  We know what we are doing.  We will do the job right or not do it at all.  We will not put a Raid flea bomb in an air conditioning unit to try and kill bees (which we have seen done,)   2)  Our prices are very competitive. 3)  We are honest and will discuss your situation with you before any work is done.  4)  We do not use any pesticides so you do not have to worry about any pesticide residue after we are done. 5)  When possible and practical bees are not killed, rather taken to our local apiary, requeened and become one of our hives.