Seeing bees in the garden is glorious; it means your plants will be pollinated to produce flowers and fruit. However, if you see a large number of bees and have concerns about the safety of family members or pets, or if you’ve noticed a hive that’s established itself a little too close to your door, it may be time to consider a bee removal specialist to relocate the bees.
Before hiring one of the best bee removal services, you’ll want to ensure that what you have on your hands are bees and not wasps or hornets. This will help determine the removal method and the professional you’ll need to hire to do the actual removal.Hiring a professional bee removal service or beekeeper ensures the job will be done right without harming the bees. Here are our top choices for the best bee removal services.
- BEST OVERALL: American Beekeeping Federation
- RUNNER-UP: Ehrlich Pest Control
What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Bee Removal Services
Live bee removal is a specific skill, and customers will want a professional who knows what they are doing. Identification of whether you have bees versus wasps or hornets is essential. In addition, there are many types of bees and bee nests, so hiring a professional who is knowledgeable in their field is critical. Other essential factors include service area, the bee removal service’s understanding of local laws, humane removal, price, guarantees, and customer service.
Type of Stinging Pest
The type of stinging pest you want to have removed will affect what type of service will be required. Although bees, wasps, and hornets belong to the same greater order of insects called Hymenoptera and are often mistaken for one another, they’re not the same—nor are the processes for removal. Beekeepers and companies that offer bee removal will only remove bees, and they will not harm them in the process. Hornets and wasps will require a pest control service. Homeowners can also attempt to tackle carpenter bees with one of the best carpenter bee traps.
Service Area and Scheduling
The best bee removal services allow advance scheduling via phone or email. A bee removal service may arrange a consultation in advance to first identify the type of bee or stinging insect for removal. This will help the professional evaluate what type of removal methods will be required.
Before vetting any bee removal company’s services, customers should be sure the company overs their area to ensure they won’t be charged unexpected travel fees. Additionally, finding a company based as close to the property as possible will help ensure the identification of the insect is accurate, as different types of flying or stinging insects are more common in certain regions.
Customers need to know how much emergency bee removal services will cost before committing to them. Most bee removal and pest control companies will visit the property, investigate the problem, identify the stinging insect, and produce a quote for the job. Some companies may be willing to offer an estimate over the phone or online, but the quote may not be accurate without a home inspection first.
It can be in a customer’s best interest to get more than one quote, but if the situation has urgency, it may be important to hire faster rather than doing a great deal of comparison. In this case, it’s always wise to look for customer reviews of any company and ask the company straightforward questions, such as their success rate.
Many beekeepers will also offer their removal services for free, which can be a boon for homeowners on a budget. Interested customers can search for “free bee removal service near me” to find local beekeepers.
Exact bee removal methods will not only vary by company but also by what kind of stinging pest is present on the property. In many places, bees and other pollinators are protected by law, so customers should familiarize themselves with laws surrounding bee removal in their area and make sure that the company they hire is also aware of these laws.
Traditional pest control companies may state that they offer bee removal, but customers should inquire about this language. A pest control company will kill bees instead of relocating them in many cases. Bee removal companies should be transparent in their removal and relocation processes and not attempt to mislead customers with vague language.
Licensing, Certification, and Insurance
Any pest control or bee removal professional should be appropriately licensed by the state or municipality in which they operate. Some states require special licensing for pest control pesticide application that meets regulations. Additional training or certification is always a plus.
Customers will want to look for a company that is bonded and insured in addition to having a state-issued business license. Liability insurance will protect the company, its employees, the customer, and the customer’s property in case of accident or injury. Being bonded means the company has a line of credit in place to cover the cost of work if it cannot perform the work itself. However, customers should be aware that many independent or hobbyist beekeepers may not have insurance or bonding, but this doesn’t mean these beekeepers don’t offer a reputable service. In these cases, customers should have a transparent conversation with the professional about their experience and any risks that the beekeeper may be exposed to.
If a company offers a guarantee, it tells the customer that the company stands behind its work. While many bee removal or pest control companies may offer a guarantee, the criteria for that guarantee will vary from company to company. In general, a satisfaction guarantee means that the issue will be rectified at no cost to the customer, or a refund will be provided. Any guarantee is always at the company’s discretion.
Many customers do not have expertise when it comes to bee removal, so having strong customer support is important. Whether that’s scheduling concerns or questions about the process, having responsive customer support via phone or online is something to look for in a bee removal service.
Our Top Picks
Bees can be found nearly everywhere, but not every pest control company is equipped to properly remove bees without harming them. Here are two bee removal services that practice humane removal only.
Why It Made the Cut: Customers can search the extensive database of the American Beekeeping Federation for humane bee removal services all across the country.
With a network of more than 1,000 beekeepers nationwide, the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) offers customers access to professional beekeepers near them. Customers will find that beekeepers typically have more hands-on experience than pest control companies when it comes to bee removal.
Beekeepers are preferred for bee removal because they know how to remove the bees while still protecting them and preserving the swarm. They will also be knowledgeable and up to date on local, state, or federal laws regarding bee removal.
When searching the database, customers should know that the individual state groups, not the ABF itself, are responsible for keeping their service provider lists up to date. Consequently, some of the information available on the site may be dated. This could lead to dead ends when reaching out to individual services. However, customers will have access to a nationwide database and should have success finding beekeepers near them. Many of the services are low cost or even free.
The ABF is an organization that actively seeks to protect bees. One of its means of doing this is to offer ongoing beekeeper education. This means that customers can feel confident that the beekeepers on the list are getting the latest information on beekeeping, and consumers can learn about the importance of bees before even hiring a service.
- Service area: Nationwide
- Scheduling: Varies by provider
- Certifications: Varies by provider
- Guarantee: Varies by provider
- Customer support: Varies by provider
- Directory of over 1,000 beekeepers nationwide
- Relatively affordable or free services
- Ongoing bee preservation and beekeeper education efforts
- Comprehensive online educational resources for both beekeepers and the public
- Provider lists may not be regularly updated
Why It Made the Cut: Ehrlich Pest Control is a traditional pest control service with transparent, humane standards for bee removal.
With availability in 20 states, Ehrlich Pest Control technicians offer a free site inspection, stinging pest identification, and threat-level analysis, helping customers decide what course of action to take for removal. If they identify bees rather than hornets or wasps, they have a transparent hive removal process that saves the bees and preserves their hive—something many pest control companies do not offer. The company will only relocate the swarm if it poses a genuine threat to the customer.
Because Ehrlich is a pest removal service and not a beekeeper, professionals can remove all types of stinging pests, including wasps and hornets, which is handy if customers mistakenly identify wasps as bees. Although there is no online scheduling, customer support is available 24/7 via phone or live chat.
All Ehrlich Pest Control technicians are National Pest Management Association GreenPro certified. This is a third-party certification that signifies high training standards and the use of environmentally responsible products, in addition to being state and locally certified. The company also offers a pestfree365 plan to treat and prevent pests year-round, including wasps and carpenter bees.
- Service area: 20 states
- Scheduling: Phone
- Certifications: National Pest Management Association GreenPro, state and locally certified
- Guarantee: Customer satisfaction guarantee
- Customer support: 24/7 by phone and live chat
- Free site inspection, stinging pest identification, and threat-level analysis
- Transparent bee and hive removal processes with a focus on preserving hives
- The pestfree365 plan treats and prevents pests year-round, including wasps and carpenter bees
- Technicians have been qualified as National Pest Management Association GreenPros
- No online scheduling option
Because of the importance of protecting bees as pollinators, the American Beekeeper Federation is our top choice for best bee removal service. For a pest removal company that also offers humane bee removal services, Ehrlich Pest Control is our runner-up.
How We Chose the Best Bee Removal Services
To determine the best bee removal services, we researched dozens of companies with a focus on services that would provide bee-safe removal. Because beekeeping and apiology (the study of honey bees) are specific skills, it was important to us to find businesses that would abide by no-kill policies and laws surrounding bee removal. A beekeeper directory provides access to knowledgeable beekeepers who have direct hands-on experience working with bees, are professional, and act as advocates for the health and safety of bees. Beekeepers preserve beehives to protect the bees and their benefits to the environment. Most beekeepers provide this service at low to no cost. Other relevant factors included looking for companies that could provide hornet or wasp removal should a homeowner misidentify the bees. We also considered factors like customer support, pricing, quote process, and service area.
Bees vs. Wasps vs. Hornets
Bees are often mistakenly identified as wasps or hornets and vice versa. There are actually more than 20,000 types of bees worldwide and over 4,000 types in the United States alone, although most homeowners will be familiar with about ten different types of bees they may see in their garden, including honey bees, mason bees, bumblebees, and leafcutter bees. These bees all offer benefits to the garden as pollinators, and most bees have a protection status from the EPA. Bee removal is preferred over killing bees because of this protection status and bees’ benefit to the ecosystem and agriculture. But is it illegal to kill honey bees? Yes, in some states it is illegal to kill bees without approval from government agencies. In other states, it’s only illegal to kill bees with certain restricted chemical compounds.
Closely related to bees, both wasps and hornets also act as pollinators. But because they are more aggressive with defending their nests and stinging, they are not protected like bees are and can legally be either removed or eradicated using pesticides. The most common type of wasps are yellow jackets and paper wasps. Yellow jackets have smooth, lengthened bodies with bright yellow and black stripes. Paper wasps have orange wings, tarsi, and antennae. The body may be brown or black with thin yellow banding. Hornets are generally larger than wasps, and the most common species is the brown hornet. As its name suggests, brown hornets have brown bodies along with yellow stripes and two sets of wings. Both wasps and hornets sting repeatedly and frequently make their nests in closer proximity to living quarters, making it of particular concern for homeowners.
Before You Hire One of the Best Bee Removal Services
A professional beekeeper can make honey bee removal or relocating a beehive look easy, but it’s dangerous work and not something most homeowners are equipped to tackle on their own. Attempting to remove a wasp nest or hornet nest can be even more dangerous, as these insects are more aggressive than most bees.
Before hiring one of the best bee removal services, a homeowner should make sure that they actually don’t want the bees there. If a homeowner has the space in their yard and the bees aren’t harming anyone or causing concern, it is often better to leave the bees alone.
If you suspect you have wasps or hornets, contact a pest removal service for proper identification.
Cost of Hiring One of the Best Bee Removal Services
The average cost of bee removal can range from $150 to $500 and up, depending on the location, size of the swarm, and difficulty of removal. For example, a hive that is hard to reach or that requires a ladder or special equipment will cost more to remove. If bees are within a structure, such as in a wall, the cost can go up and will also need to include repairs, so the price can start at $1,000. Some local beekeepers may remove bees for free or at a very low cost, but customers may have some difficulty finding a reliable local beekeeper who is able to perform the service.
The Advantages of Using One of the Best Bee Removal Services
Attempting to remove a beehive yourself is not for the faint of heart or the ill-equipped. Even the most docile honey bee will become aggressive if its home is threatened. Hiring a professional to do the job has many advantages, including reducing the likelihood of getting stung! Here are a few of the other perks of hiring a bee removal service.
- Hives are removed properly and bees are relocated, reducing the possibility of attracting more bees.
- The bee population is protected by humane, live removal methods.
- Professionals can identify if the “bees” are instead wasps or hornets.
- Professional humane removal reduces the chance of harmful chemicals being put into the sensitive bee environment.
- Bee removal keeps a family, including children and pets, safe from stings.
For some, bees are a welcome sight, but for others they can cause concern. Here are a few of the most common questions when it comes to bees and bee removal services.
Q. What is the best natural way to get rid of bees?
Bee removal by homeowners is not advised, but a beekeeper or bee removal service will have natural methods to remove the bees safely.
Q. Who do I contact to get rid of a beehive?
If you think you have a beehive on your property, contact one of the best bee removal services right away.
Q. How much do services charge to remove bees?
Beekeepers often remove or relocate bees for free, but most bee removal services will charge anywhere from $150 to $500 on average for hive removal.
Q. What attracts bees to my house?
Bees can be attracted to areas of former hives as well as mild climates with abundant flower gardens and other food sources.