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REMOVING BEES YOURSELF (Click on a topic or scroll down)
Photos courtesy Los Angeles County Fire Dept. Bee Attack Video http://www.lacofd.org/Galleries/BeeAlert.asp
Using Sprays To control bees:
Use Great Stuff Foam to trap the bees in your wall:
Burn Them Out:
Smoke them out:
Bees in a log--do it yourself:
Call an exterminator untrained in bee control:
Bees is water meter boxes:
Using Sprays To Control
Bees Kill a Dog and Put Two Men in Hospital When Sprayed with Raid.
Scottsdale, AZ --- SWARM OF BEES ATTACK --- Officials are still trying to determine if it was the so-called "killer bees" that swarmed on a Scottsdale neighborhood over the weekend. The bees just seemed to go crazy after a homeowner sprayed the hive with a can of Raid. They killed a dog and stung two men bad enough that they had to be taken away by paramedics. A bee keeper was finally called in to bring the hive under control. At this point we still don't know if they were the Africanized honey bees that are often called "killer bees" because of their aggressiveness. (ABC NewsWire, 10/18/99).
*** NEVER SPRAY ENTRANCE/EXIT HOLES OF A BEE NEST WHICH LEAD INTO A HOME OR GARAGE !!!
This almost always fails. The product applied will not reach deep into the wall void where the nest is protected. More importantly, once you contaminate the entrance/exit hole, many times the bees will move laterally inside the wall void attempting to find another entrance/exit. Many times this will cause them to start "exiting" inside the home. Since bee nests are so large, such invasions can last for weeks making the structure uninhabitable. When this happens, most homes will have to be evacuated till the nest is completely removed. Locating the nest becomes more complicated because the bees will have moved the nest deeper into the building. Needless to say, this is a situation that must be avoided - especially if the bees are thought to be Killer Bees!
The bees just chewed right through these attempts to plug their entrances.
(Click on pictures to enlarge)
Some people use expanding foam products to seal the bees inside their wall. This almost always creates a mess. There are 20,000 to 60,000 bees in a normal size colony plus 20 to 60 lbs. of comb and brood (larvae and pupae). If you succeed in suffocating the bees, which is unlikely, you will have a mass of dead, rotting bees, smelling up your house for months. (Smells like dead fish). Without the bees to control the temperature of the nest the unripened honey will begin to ferment and the hive beetle and wax moth will begin to produce maggots to feed on the mess. The hive beetle maggots actually boil over in a dead nest and then look for a way outside to pupate in the ground. One woman had these worms dropping out of her ceiling all over her foyer. Most of the time the bees find another entrance/exit and move deeper into your home. Or, they chew right through the foam and continue using your wall as a home. If you are able to stop the present infestation, in six months another will develop as new bees chew through the foam to get at the honey and comb they smell in your wall.
Burn Them Out:
"Smoking bees out" is a misconception many people have.
Smoke is used by beekeepers to calm the bees. The smoke masks the alarm pheromone given off by the guard bees when the hive is disturbed. The bees instinct tells them there is a forest fire and they may have to abandon the hive if the flames come. They begin filling up with honey to take with them and they are not as aggressive when full of honey. The smoke does not drive them out. Only the flames will.
Bees in a log--do it yourself:
Bees Attack, Dog Killed, Three Persons Hospitalized, Residents Trapped in Home Rescued by Firefighters.
MIAMI GARDENS: Angry bees attack home
Miami Herald (September 8, 2005)
A Miami Gardens resident who opted not to wait for a professional bee handler to deal with a hive in a log unleashed a swarm of aggressive Africanized bees Wednesday that attacked just about every living thing nearby, including the home's occupants, responding firefighters, reporters and the family dogs -- one of whom died.
When Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to the call at 18200 NW Fourth Ave. shortly after 3 p.m., the swarm was so thick firefighters could scarcely see out of their vehicle's windows, department spokesman Lt. Eric Baum said. "It was like going from daylight to darkness," Baum said. Three adults -- two men and a woman, whose identities were not released in accordance with federal health laws -- were treated for bee stings and transported to local hospitals, Baum said.
A small dog that apparently also lived at the residence died from the bee stings, Baum said. Firefighters administered medication to another dog to relieve breathing problems from the stings. A third dog at the address appeared to be in good condition and wasn't treated, he said.
According to Baum and professional apiarist Adrian Valero, who arrived to destroy the swarm, the occupants of the house discovered a hive of bees in a log and called Valero's company, I Will Bee There of Hialeah, to deal with it. Before Valero's son and business partner, Christian, arrived, the men decided to drag the log to the swale.
They didn't realize the hive contained Africanized honey bees, a cross of domestic honey bees and a highly aggressive African species, sometimes called killer bees. Killer bees escaped from quarantine in Brazil in 1957, mated with domestic species and spread through the hemisphere.
In an instant, the angered bees were airborne and intent on attacking anything that moved. "The bees went ballistic," Adrian Valero said. The three people ran into the house, closing themselves off from the bulk of the swarm outside but bringing a multitude of bees in with them. Arriving firefighters donned their "bunker gear" -- the full complement of body-covering firefighting gear -- before venturing outside the truck. The gear is not fully sealed, however, and the firefighters received some stings, Baum said. Firefighters used carbon dioxide fire extinguishers to clear a momentary path to the house, Baum said. Inside, the fire extinguishers were only of limited use because they use up oxygen. Firefighters "were in the house for close to an hour; we couldn't get [the residents] out," Baum said. "We had to back a rescue truck up to the house." Firefighters created a carbon dioxide-protected "gantlet" between the house and the ambulance to evacuate the three people as the bees continued to swarm, Baum said.
Meanwhile, WPLG Channel 10 reporter Anjanette Flowers and WSVN Channel 7 cameraman Chris McKinney sustained bee stings more than a block from the home. A bee "was actually in my hair first, and I swatted it, which they say you're not supposed to do, and then he bit me on my chin," Flowers said. She delivered her live report uninterrupted.
Valero said that by the time he arrived, firefighters had set fire to the log housing the hive, but the the hive's queen apparently had escaped to another tree in the backyard of the house. "Wherever she goes, [the swarm] will follow," Valero said.
Call an exterminator untrained in bee control:
LET EXPERTS TAKE CARE OF BEES, EXPERTS SAY
By TJ Aulds
The Daily News Galveston County
Published May 20, 2006
There’s a buzz in Galveston County. Bees are popping up everywhere, turning quiet neighborhood homes into swarming hives.
“It’ll keep you on your toes,” said Darrel Lister, also known as the Bee Buster. “This is the busiest season I have seen in 30 years.”
No one had to convince one League City homeowner of that Friday afternoon. The woman, who declined to be interviewed, had called a local pest control company to remove a beehive that had sprouted under the eaves of her roof in the Meadow Bends subdivision.
When Wayne Miller of ABC Pest Control was removing the 2-foot-long hive, its residents went on the attack.
Two of the homeowner’s dogs were stung, as was Miller. He pulled out an EpiPen, an auto-injector that administers epinephrine, which is the emergency treatment for severe allergic reactions.
At first, both the homeowner and Miller thought the attack came from the feared Africanized or killer bees.
That prompted emergency calls to League City police, who sent out patrol cars and the fire department. Firefighters knocked down the hive using firefighting foam and, in the process, League City firefighter Lt. Kevin Casten also was stung.
No one else was injured, and Miller and the dogs were doing fine within an hour of the attack.
“The bees were really aggressive,” said Miller.
Miller said this is a busy time of the year for him. On his League City route alone, he is called out to four or five homes a week, he said.
“This has been an unusual year,” he said. “Ordinarily the bees don’t start to get aggressive until July or August. “But this year I’m already seeing the calls from all over.”
Calls are coming into the Galveston County Extension Office, too. Gene Speller, a master gardener and extension volunteer, said the office offers what Miller and Lister both say is the best advice:
Call an expert.
The extension office even has a list, said Speller.
Lister is hoping people take advantage of that list. Spending $200 to $400 to rid your home of a hive is a wise investment, he said. “It’s a bad year for bees,” he said. “There is going to be a lot of hurt out there if people don’t pay attention.”
Lister said anyone looking to avoid being stung needed to follow one simple rule — avoid the bees altogether. “Look for activity If you see a bee in your house, then it’s likely he overshot the runway and ended up inside,” he said. “All they need is a little opening, and they will start building that hive.”And be extra careful when mowing or pulling out the weed trimmer, especially near dead trees or stumps.
“Those are just shotguns sitting in the corner waiting to go off,” Lister said. “It’s really dangerous with these doggone bees.”
© 2006 The Galveston County Daily News. All rights reserved.
"KILLER" BEES STRIKE CLOSER TO COLORADO
By Rich Tosches
Denver Post Staff Writer
SANTE FE, NM - Joel Simko danced wildly across the roof of the house, spinning and hopping past the chimney and frantically waving his long arms over his head. Soon, the lanky man's dance was accompanied by a great chorus of loud screaming and cursing as a swarm of bees dove onto his head and face. His ladder was leaned up against the gutter, and he hit the top rung on a dead run. The ladder slid, and the pest-control worker found himself plunging 15 feet toward the ground, bolts of pain shooting through his face and neck as the roar of the swarm grew louder around his head.
In a scientific discovery of some note, Simko unwittingly found what entomologists believe is one of the northernmost hives of Africanized bees in the western United States, a huge swarm that had settled into a gated community just north of this art mecca. On a slightly less-scientific note, Simko floundered on the ground, shrieking and thrashing as the attack raged on. He fought back with the only weapon he had - a baseball cap, swinging it to get the bees off his face. "When they got me down, they really came after me," he said. "It was like they knew they had me in a vulnerable position." A fine observation, according to New Mexico State University entomologist and African bee expert Carol Sutherland. "These bees," she said, "are rank, rugged, wild animals. They attack the eyes and head of whatever they perceive as a threat. "They try to disorient their attacker and stop it from running away. And then they get it down on the ground, and they overwhelm it and kill it." Simko got lucky on that hot August day. He fought his way back to his feet and lurched 25 yards back to his truck. But the fight wasn't over. A number of bees pursued him into the truck through an open door. Simko said six of them quickly stung his face and head. As he slammed the door and pounded away at those bees with his hat, hundreds of others massed on the windows and windshield, searching for a crack that would get them inside. "It was like being in a science fiction movie," Simko said. "It was absolutely terrifying."
...Brian Gianardi is a construction supervisor who was attacked the same day by the same swarm that had Simko shuffling across the roof of the home 15 miles northwest of the city. The homeowners were at their other residence in San Francisco, giving Gianardi and Simko time to dig in for the weeks-long battle against the raging bees - Sutherland estimated there could have been "tens of thousands" of bees in the colony, though no one knows for sure - that built a hive on the front porch.
"The first thing I see," said Gianardi, "is a plumber's assistant get out of his truck and start yelling and running around, waving his hands over his head. To be honest, I thought it was pretty funny. Then the bees came after me and started stinging ... and it wasn't so funny anymore." Eventually, Simko brought a bee suit from the New Mexico Pest Control facility where he works. Gianardi donned the suit and headed for the hive. "I'm swinging a broom at them, and they just went nuts," he said. "Thousands of them are dive-bombing me, aiming for my face. "They're bouncing off the wire face mask and the helmet. It sounded like popcorn popping. They were in total attack mode." Simko didn't go to the hospital but said he felt sick and as though he were suffering a heart attack the night after the bee attack. Sutherland said the men were lucky. "A lot of bad things happen to people in that situation," she said. "When these Africanized bees sting, it releases a venom the others can smell. When they smell that chemical, they go into a rage and they all attack. The more they sting, the more agitated the colony becomes."
Simko and Sutherland said last week that the Africanized bees are no longer at the house - having packed up and flown off to parts unknown. Today, Simko, whose face was badly swollen after the attack, has recovered. Except for his lingering fear of small aircraft. "The horrible buzzing as they attacked me, that's what I remember," he said. "When I'm outside now and hear anything like that, I get pretty jumpy. The other day a Piper Cub flew overhead, and I felt that split-second of terror." (Rich Tosches, Denver Post, 10/16/05.)
***Pest control companies, untrained in bee removal, put themselves and the public at risk.Bee removals should be done by Bee Removal Specialists or beekeepers. Contaminating an area with toxic powders and sprays sometimes works but more often drives the bees deeper into a building where they set up a new nest, avoiding the sprays or powders. Physical, live removal of bees and comb is the only sure way to handle honeybee infestations.
Bees is water meter boxes:
By Rachel Simmonsen
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 07, 2006
There was a moment that September afternoon when Dale Hunt felt like he was in an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
"All of a sudden, there was this black cloud coming out of the ground," recalled Hunt, a supervisor in the Port St. Lucie utility department. Hunt backed away from the water meter he had just approached on Southwest Kenyoun Street and darted to his truck about 12 feet away, slipping inside as the buzzing mass of hundreds of bees smothered his windshield and side windows.
"I couldn't see a thing," Hunt said. "I turned on the wipers and put it in drive."
As the wind ripped the black specks off the windshield, Hunt suspected he wasn't dealing with a swarm of typical honeybees.
He probably was right. Hunt's attackers were likely Africanized honeybees, also known as killer bees, the fearful subject of many a made-for-television movie.
As of July 2004, Africanized bees had killed 14 people in the United States, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Last month, tests done on samples of bees taken from another site, a water meter on Dalton Avenue, confirmed that the invasive insects have made their way to St. Lucie County.
Africanized bees look like other honeybees, but they are more vehement than their cousins in defending their hives, which they like to build in buckets, cans, empty boxes, holes in fences and water meters in the ground. The slightest bit of movement near their hive can trigger an attack.
"What makes them probably a little bit more dangerous is that they release an alarm pheromone after they sting, which signals other bees to come and attack," Skvarch said. "Where European bees might come in and sting one time, Africanized bees
could probably sting 10 times."
On Sept. 12, one of Hunt's employees at the Port St. Lucie utility department learned that the hard way when he was checking the water meter on Southwest Kenyoun Street. He tried to escape the bees by jumping into a pool. But that's a bad idea with
"They'll just hover over you, waiting for you to get out," Skvarch said. And they did. The meter reader was stung at least 50 times before a fellow employee was able to pick him up and drive him to the hospital. He recovered.