Bees have the habit of moving into very inconvenient spaces and making them their home. This becomes a problem when the inconvenient space they choose is part of our homes, such as a vent. Is there any danger to you from bees in a vent, and how do you get the bees out of the vent?
Getting rid of bees from a vent is not a DIY operation. Call a beekeeper to remove and relocate the bees using an appropriate removal method. The alternative is to call an exterminator to kill the colony. In either method, the old comb and brood must be removed, and the vent made bee proof.
Vents require open-air access to do the job they are designed to do, but this leaves these openings vulnerable to invasion by bees and other animals looking for a safe place to shelter and make a nest. There are several options available to get rid of bees in a vent and some options you should avoid as far as possible.
Getting Rid Of Bees In A Vent
Bees in urban and suburban locales often have limited natural nesting places available to them to build and grow their colonies.
This lack of natural accommodation facilities results in bees selecting some unusual and often inconvenient nesting locations.
From old tires to wall cavities, swimming pool pumps, and vents, bees will utilize any location where they feel safe and protected from predators and the environment.
Vents are attractive to bees because they provide a warm, sheltered space with airflow and a relatively small opening the bees can easily defend.
Bees moving into a vent in your home can become problematic for several reasons.
- Access to the inside of your home. The bees may gain access to the inside of your home, depending on where the vent leads. This problem can lead to bees regularly finding their way inside your house, increasing the risk of stings.
- Blockage of the vent. The purpose of a vent is to provide airflow, which may become blocked as the bees build out their comb and the colony increases in size.
- Internal damage to the house. Structures in the house or the vent may be damaged by dead bees, wax, and honey residue leaking or falling into parts of the internal structures of your house.
Prevention is better than the cure for bees in a vent. You should ensure that all the vents from your home are covered with a bee proof mesh or covering designed to keep bees and other critters out of the system.
If you find bees in a vent in your home before you have managed to secure the entrance, what options can you use to get rid of the bees safely?
The first goal is to identify the type of bees in the vent. Bumble bees can be left alone and will move away at the end of the season. Honey bees are a different story and will require intervention.
Honey bees are not likely to move on of their own accord unless the space they have selected to make a hive becomes too small or otherwise uninhabitable.
Even when the space becomes too small, the bees will swarm, with only some of the colony leaving to make a new home elsewhere. The remaining bees may continue living in the original space and build the colony again.
Can You Get Rid Of Bees From A Vent DIY?
Bees can be dangerous, especially when you are messing with their home. They can become aggressive and attack you, your family, neighbors, and pets.
Without the proper equipment and know-how, you can do more damage to your home than you realize in your attempt to get rid of the bees.
The only way to permanently solve the bee problem is to manually remove them from the vent and take steps to ensure they do not return, but this requires the services of a professional.
There are essentially only two options available to a homeowner to remove bees from a vent; call a beekeeper to remove the bees or call an exterminator to kill the bees.
Call A Beekeeper To Get Rid Of Bees From A Vent
Calling a local beekeeper that performs a bee removal service is the best option to remove the bees from the vent without killing them.
Beekeepers have a number of methods to safely remove the bee colony and relocate them to a place where it can continue to be productive in the natural environment.
Beekeepers usually use two main methods for removing bees from a vent or any other residential structure. The two removal methods are trap out or cut out.
Trap Out Bees From A Vent
A trap out is a method of placing a one-way exit over the vent entrance that allows the foraging bees to leave the vent but blocks them from re-entering it.
A nucleus hive, or nuc, is placed near the entrance of the vent, with frames containing brood in the comb from another colony. The returning bees enter the nuc hive when they cannot enter their original hive via the vent.
The worker bees will raise a new queen from the larvae in the nuc and produce a new colony. Once most of the bees have left the vent, the rest will no longer be able to sustain the colony inside the vent. At this point, they will abandon the nest and leave the area.
The new colony in the nuc hive can then be removed and relocated as a new colony.
The disadvantage of this removal method is that it is a process that can take as long as 6 weeks to complete. Homeowners may not be willing to endure the bees on their property for this length of time.
After the bees have been relocated, the vent must be cleaned of old comb and honey to prevent attracting other bees to the location.
Cut Out Bees From A Vent
The cut-out method has the advantage that it is a faster method of removing the bees, but it will cause damage to your home, which must be repaired.
Using the cut-out method, a beekeeper can remove the bee colony within a day or two. The cut-out method involves opening the space where the bees have created the hive and using a bee vacuum to suck up the bees into a box, capture the queen, and remove the comb and honey from the vent.
The comb with brood removed from the vent is often fitted into a hive frame and placed in a box on top of the bee vac box. As the bees are sucked into the bee vac, they will begin taking care of the brood in the frames above.
Once the bees have been cleared out, the vent is cleaned of all remaining comb and honey and covered with a bee proof cover to prevent attracting new bees to the location.
This removal procedure is invasive in the home and often requires replacement or reconstruction of the vent and surrounding structures. The extent of the repairs will depend on how much of the home is opened to remove the bees.
Call An Exterminator To Get Rid Of Bees In A Vent
A last resort option is to call an exterminator to destroy the colony. Exterminators usually wait until evening when all the bees have returned from foraging. The vent is sealed, and chemicals are sprayed into the space to kill the bees.
This is the least desirable option since the entire colony is lost. Depending on the bees’ position and the threat they pose to your family and neighbors, this may be the fastest and safest method of getting rid of bees in a vent.
Once the bees have all been killed, it is necessary to open the vent and remove the bee carcasses, dead larvae, comb, and honey to prevent them from causing additional problems in your home.
The dead larvae can stink as they begin to rot, and the honey and bee carcasses can attract ants. Honey and melting wax can drip down through the vent and damage other aspects of your home.
Don’t use an exterminator that is not prepared to open the vent and remove the dead colony after the extermination.
Getting rid of bees from a vent or any other space in your home is not an easy or simple undertaking. Removing a bee colony from a vent is a job best left for professionals who know what they are doing and can get the job done safely.
The best option is a good outcome for you and the bees; calling a beekeeper to remove the colony will achieve this goal. But if all else fails, an exterminator may be the only option.