Bee Nest Removal Cost

In this guide

Types of bees
Problems with bees
Typical nest or hive reactions
Labor
Enhancements
Additional Considerations

How much does it cost to remove a bee nest?

Bees are an important part of most environments. They help pollinate flowers and produce the honey so many people enjoy. Unfortunately, there are times, however, when a swarm of bees may move into an area of your property that isn’t welcome. Maybe you or a loved one are allergic to their stings and would feel more comfortable with them gone. Or maybe they’ve invaded your deck, balcony, attic, or other area where they have become a nuisance, making people nervous as they pass by the hive. Honey production can actually be a messy process as well, so if bees take up residence inside your walls or attic, you could end up with a large mess on your hands to clean up if not taken care of in in a timely way.

Bees and wasps do resemble one another in some ways, but are radically different insects, with different methods of extermination and removal. This guide will focus on bees.

There are three different types of bees that may take up residence on your property. This, and the size and location of the hive can all play a hand in the cost necessary to remove them, with the average cost to remove a nest around $195 just for the removal.

Types of bees

There are actually a number of different types of bees in the world. The most common to be found on your property, though, will likely fall into one of three categories:

  • Honeybees: honeybees are social, living in large swarms of up to 50,000 in one hive. Even a new hive may have up to 9000 bees living in it at one time. Honeybees live year round, but often go dormant during the winter months.
  • Bumblebees: bumblebees are larger, yet live in much smaller nests. A bumblebee nest will only have up to 50 bees in it at one time. They live in areas in or near the ground, such as in your yard or under your deck.
  • Carpenter Bees: carpenter bees are solid black, and do not have a stinger. They make their homes by burrowing deep inside wood, particularly on decks and in attics. They can do serious structural damage to your home if not removed in a timely way.

Problems with bees

The vast majority of the time, it’s a good thing to have bees around. They help plants and crops grow successfully by pollinating. Unfortunately, each spring hives split in half, with a large number taking off to form a new hive. When this happens, they may find their way into your home or property, taking up residence where they aren’t wanted.

There are several problems with having bees on your property. People who are allergic to bee stings may be at risk for deadly reactions if the bees are living close by. Bees can also make a large mess, and even destroy the structure of your home if left alone there too long.

Many bees have a habit of finding their way inside structures such as chimneys; when you attempt to use that structure for the first time after their arrival, it can trigger them to swarm, which can cause painful stings and potentially fatal reactions.

Typical nest or hive reactions

The location of the nest or hive is largely dependant on the type of bee that you have living there. Carpenter bees will target outdoor wood structures such as porches, window frames, and decks. Bumblebees will likely target your yard, as well as crawl spaces beneath your home. Honeybees are looking for open areas or structures big enough for their hive. They prefer chimneys, hollow trees, and walls, as well as crawl spaces and attics.

The location of the nest or hive plays a big role in how easy or difficult it is to remove the bees. Carpenter bees and bumblebees tend to be easier to remove, simply because their nests are smaller and more likely to be located in an easy to access area. Honeybees can be more difficult to remove because they like to be contained, which may require the opening of walls or chimneys to get them out.

Labor

There are a few ways that bees can be removed or exterminated. The direction you take will be based partly on the type of bees being removed, as well as the area, and any regulations nearby. There are many companies that will tackle the live removal of the bees and their hive from your home. This will involve reaching the nest or hive, potentially by opening walls in your home, smoking to quiet the bees, and then the removal of the entire hive and all the bees. Some of these companies will then make repairs to the area they removed the bees from at a further cost to you. Depending on where you live, and what the local bee population is like,  you may have a hard time finding a pest company who will kill the bees; some will offer removal services, while others will simply pass on the job.

Carpenter bees, and bumblebees, as well as honeybees that aren’t wanted by a nearby beekeeper may need to be exterminated, however. This is usually done by spraying the bees with a chemical which kills them, and deters new bees from coming to take over the nest.

In most cases, calling a bee removal specialist will result in an inspection of the hive or nest. This inspection runs around $150 to $250, and will help the specialist determine the type of bee and the best way to get rid of it.

Nest removal costs start at around $195 after assessment for just the removal of the nest. Depending on where it is located, you may need to hire a carpenter to help repair the area at a rate of $70 an hour. Removing a honeybee swarm may require 4 to 6 hours of work afterward to repair the damage. Repairing damage done by carpenter bees may take a minimum of 4 - 6 hours as well. Bumblebees do not generally damage property that requires repair after removal.

If it’s been determined that the only way to remove the bees is to kill them, you will need to pay an exterminator. Exterminator costs range from $250 to $300 on average.

Enhancement and improvement costs

  • Depending on where the bees have taken up residence on your property and how large the hive is, it may be necessary to open or removal walls in your home to reach them. A carpenter will be required to repair the damage after the hive is gone, at a rate of $70 an hour. Expect 4 to 6 hours work. In most cases, the wall removal itself is included in the cost of the nest removal.

Additional considerations and costs

Free hive removal

While not common in every area, there are times when a local beekeeper may come and remove the hive or swarm for you for no cost. If you are sure the bees are honeybees, and they are fairly accessible, try calling local beekeepers first to see if they will handle the job before moving on to other sources.

Bees, yellow jackets, and wasps

It can be difficult for some people to tell the difference between a bee and a yellow jacket, hornet, or wasp. For the most part, bees are furry and are fairly gentle in nature. They do not swarm or get aggressive and only sting in self defense. Wasps may be larger, brighter in color, and shinier, with bold yellow insects getting the name of “yellow jacket”. They do get aggressive when provoked and will sting if bothered. Both types of insects can be found in similar areas to one another. A wasp hive, however, will be papery and brittle in appearance, while a bee’s will be hexagonal and made in a comb. Wasps are always killed rather than removed, and are taken care of by most pest control services.

Swarms

Bees swarm in the spring and early summer. If you see a swarm, call your local beekeeper; they may come capture it for free before it has a chance to create a hive on your property. Never throw rocks or sticks at swarms; they are typically non-aggressive even if they do appear slightly frightening. Provoking the swarm may result in them stinging in self defense.

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Cost to remove a bee nest varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Berkeley, CA
+39%
Bethlehem, PA
+12%
Bridgeport, CT
+43%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Canton, OH
-8%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Dayton, OH
-7%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Gastonia, NC
-18%
Genoa, IL
+3%
Greensboro, NC
-9%
Houston, TX
+24%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Knoxville, TN
+10%
Long Beach, CA
+16%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Memphis, TN
+11%
Miami, FL
+1%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Nashville, TN
+21%
New Orleans, LA
+35%
New York, NY
+77%
Newport News, VA
-12%
Oklahoma City, OK
-12%
Omaha, NE
-10%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Pittsburgh, PA
+9%
Pompano Beach, FL
+2%
Portland, OR
+11%
Pottstown, PA
+8%
Saginaw, MI
+12%
Saint Louis, MO
+16%
Saint Paul, MN
+20%
San Antonio, TX
-4%
San Diego, CA
+11%
San Francisco, CA
+53%

Labor cost in your zip code

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