We all remember those days of old, running barefoot through the lawn, stepping on the wrong dandelion, and BAM! a nice new bee sting to remind you to be a little more careful next time. Not that it ever really worked. For many of us, all that sting did was inspire us to learn how to kill bees without getting stung. Well, that's how it worked for me anyway. Once Grandma plucked the stinger out of my foot and numbed the pain with a little rubbing alcohol and ice, my mission for complete bee eradication began. [Little side note here: If you get stung by a honey bee, along with the stinger stuck in your foot there is also a venom sack and parts of the bee's ass. Stingers should be scraped off with a knife, fingernail, etc. Not tweezed. Tweezing compresses the venom sack and shoots more of it into your blood. Bumblebees, on the other hand, don't leave their stingers behind and, unlike honeybees, will live to sting you again.
I learned later in life that I probably shouldn't have gone around killing bees all willy-nilly. All bees, including the ones we'll be focusing on in this article (honeybees, bumblebees, Africanized honey bees, and solitary bees like ground-dwelling and carpenter bees) are hugely important to human survival. In North America. alone, there are around 4,000 different species of bees. These bees are responsible for pollinating some 80% of the food crops that sustain us. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying to never kill bees. There are instances when bee pest control is important, such as when bees are in your house, siding, ground in the yard, or when you or someone you love is allergic to bee stings. After all, anaphylactic shock is pretty damn scary. I'm just saying to only do it if it's necessary. And if bee extermination is necessary, make sure to protect yourself. Wear thick, loose clothing with rubber bands around shirt cuffs, tuck your pants into your socks, wear gloves, wear goggles, and cover your head, neck, and face as much as possible. Better yet would be to get, or borrow, an actual bee suit to wear during bee control operations.
Figure out where the bees are living. By knowing this one little thing you will be better able to decide whether or not you even need to learn how to get rid of bees. Upon discovering the location of the bee hive or bee nest, people often realize that the bees' proximity to the house is such that bee removal is unnecessary. Since bees do their thing during the day, the best time to look for their hangout is at dusk when they are returning to their home. All you need to do is find a bee and follow it. Do this with a number of bees to make sure they're all going to the same place.
Avoid disturbing the bees. Once you know where they live, they're pretty easy to avoid. Bees usually only sting if it feels threatened or if they believe the hive is threatened. Give bee abodes a wide berth and many bee problems will be avoided. This is especially true of Africanized honey bees that have a tendency to swarm and attack when they hear loud noises or feel strong vibrations such as those given off by lawn mowers, tractors, ATVs, etc.
Use proper building materials and maintenance procedures. When building, rebuilding, adding on to, or repairing a house, use either hardwood or treated lumber. They cost more initially but you will thank yourself later when you're enjoying a beer instead of dealing with carpenter bee control. As far as siding goes, use seamless vinyl or aluminum. These options allow bees very little chance to set up shop in your walls. If you must use wood siding, make sure to paint it regularly (at least once every three years). Painted wood is unattractive to carpenter bees.
Fight the urge to plant flowers. As we all know, bees like flowers. If you don't want to have to worry about getting rid of bees, one of the simplest things you can do is to quit planting things that are sure to lure them in.
Lawn care for bee control. Because bees are so fond of dandelions and clover, lawns should be kept longer but mowed often. By keeping your grass at about 2‒2½ inches long, clover and dandelions will not get the amount of sun they prefer and will not do as well. By mowing often, you will keep dandelions from going to seed by removing their heads before they get the chance.
Remove ground cover that is preferred by bumblebees and ground-dwelling bees. Along with all the regular ground-dwelling bees, bumblebees are also fond of living under the dirt. To help avoid a ground bee infestation, make sure the area around your house is devoid of things that bees like to live under and near like grass clippings, leaf piles, brush piles, compost piles, mulch, pine straw, wood piles, and long, thick grass.
Dispose of nesting and overwintering sites. Another good approach to honey bee control, ground bee control, and bumblebee control is to take care of anything that might be seen as a good place in which to overwinter and/or nest under. For nesting sites, get rid of any large, flat piece of debris such as boards, plywood, stones, cement slabs, rocks, tires, and old doors and appliances. For overwintering sites, remove old stumps, logs, dead trees, and fallen tree limbs.
Take away food sources. Whether you are responsible for planting them or not, you should strongly consider removing anything that flowers. This includes trees, shrubs, and, yes, your award-winning roses.
Cut off access to any and all entry points. Take a long, slow walk around your house, garage, shed, etc., and look very closely for any little holes, cracks, or voids that bees might be able to get into. Keep in mind that these openings don't need to go all the way through to make bees happy. Pay close attention to areas where wires and cables enter the house, around electrical components like light fixtures and outlets, around water spigots, and around vents. Wherever you see a hole, crack, gap, or void, caulk it up. If there are cracks in the foundation of your home or voids in the mortar around brick, get them filled. Don't forget to check out the soffits. Attics make great places for bees to live. If you already have a bee infestation in one of your structures, use the information from the rest of this article to learn how to remove bees. Once they're gone, then you can block the entrances to avoid reinhabitation.
Killing bees with bee traps. One of the most common traps used to kill bees with is the bottle trap. To make one, get an empty two liter soda bottle, remove the lid, cut the top off the bottle at the point where the neck starts to slant inward, turn the top upside down and place it into the bottle so that the two cut surfaces are flush, and secure it there with staples, tape, or both. Once the bee trap is made, pour in a couple inches of something sweet like fruit juice or Mountain Dew, add a couple drops of liquid dish detergent, set your trap out, and watch as bees fly in and die because they're too stupid to get back out.
Remove bees from the house with a vacuum cleaner. Unless you have a thousand bees swarming your face, the vacuum cleaner is a great way to get rid of bee pests that are in the house. Simply use the hose attachment and suck them into oblivion.
Remove bees with a glass jar and a piece of stiff paper. Most everyone is familiar with this method for removing bees, but just in case you're not, all you have to do is grab a clear glass jar and a piece of stiff paper (I prefer a square cut from a twelve-pack box), sneak up on the bee while it's on a solid surface, put the jar over it, slide the paper between the opening of the jar and the surface the bee was standing on, take the trapped bee outside, and let it go. No need to call a bee removal service.
Use a cardboard box for bee swarm removal. Bee swarms are both fascinating and frightening. While I, personally, would be too chicken to remove bee swarms with this method, it is commonly recommended. Bee swarms are often found at rest on the ends of tree branches. In order to take care of this problem, some people, who are far braver than I, will take a large cardboard box out to the swarm site in the early morning when the bees are sluggish, open the box and set it below the swarm, quickly jerk the bees' branch up and down a few times to shake them into the box, and quickly close the lid. After checking the branch over really well to make sure the queen is not still on it, the bees are then relocated.
Contact a local beekeeper. If you have a colony of honeybees and you want it gone, put some effort into finding someone to come and take them off your hands before killing bees or calling the bee exterminators to do it for you. These days, considering the severity of Colony Collapse Disorder, there's a good chance that some local beekeeper will be more than happy to come and supply you with free bee removal services.
Get rid of ground bees with a sprinkler. Quite often ground bees can be gotten rid of simply by spraying them with water. Connect a sprinkler to your garden hose, set it up next to where the bees are living, and let the fun begin. The sprinkler won't kill ground bees. It'll just piss 'em off real good and will probably (but not definitely) inspire them to move on.
Repel carpenter bees with almond oil. During the day, when the bees are out and about, plug their holes and spray the structure they're drilling into with almond oil. Almond oil is a natural bee repellent.
Soap and water kills bees. To exterminate bees nesting in the ground, all you need is some buckets, some warm water, and some liquid dish detergent. Fill a few buckets with some nice, warm, soapy water (exact measurements aren't really needed; just be generous with the soap), and dump the soap water down their holes. If you want to dispatch a bee swarm, exact measurements are a little more important but only because you will be using a sprayer and wanting it to spray properly. Mix a 2% water to soap solution (about 1/3 cup soap to 1 gallon water), and spray away.
Boric acid is a natural bee insecticide. This effective bee killer is a dust that sticks to the legs and bodies of bees. Once on their legs and bodies, bees unwittingly carry it into their hives or nests and poison the rest of the colony. Sprinkle boric acid on the ground around ground nesting sites, at the entrances of hives and nests, or, when dealing with honeybees in the walls, directly into hives via holes drilled through the wall and into the side of the hive.
Pyrethrins are another natural bee pesticide. Pyrethrins, bee killers derived from the flowers of the chrysanthemum, work quite well as a spray for controlling bee populations. Pyrethrins are not generally used to destroy entire bee colonies. Instead, as they only kill the bees that get sprayed directly, pyrethrins are usually just used to keep populations from getting too out of hand. Microcare Aerosol is a good brand.
Kill bees with insecticidal dusts. Dusts make great bee insecticides because they stick to the legs of bees and get dragged inside the bee hive where they can start affecting even more bees. Sprinkle dusts directly into the entrances of ground bee nests in the early morning and/or in the late evening when everyone is back home. If a bee hive is located in your walls, find its exact location. If it's a small hive, you might be able to get away with only dusting at the bees' entrances. If it's a larger hive, drill several holes through the wall and into the hive, and shoot dust in with a hand duster. Hand dusters are made and designed specifically for the administration of insecticidal dusts. In cases of bees in walls, it's important to know whether or not you're dealing with honey bees. If it is honey bees, not only will you need to drill a few extra holes into the hive for applying dust, you will also need to make damn sure to remove the bee hive once bee extermination is complete. If you don't, honey can seep into walls, sheet rock, wood, insulation, etc., and cause serious damage to your home. Use dust brands like Sevin, Apicide, Drione, Dursban, and Delta Dust.
Use sprays for bee killing. Anyone who decides to be their own bee exterminator should know that dusts aren't the only option. While they do work great, there are a number of sprays available that do a pretty bang up job as well. Many of them (Cyper WP, Sevin, Cynoff WP, Cyonara, Demon WP, and Demon WP, just to name a few) are available as concentrates that you mix in a hand sprayer with water. Once they're mixed, wait until evening and spray the piss out of nests, hives, and their entrances. If you don't feel like mixing your own, there are a number of aerosols available as well. Look for brands like Baygon, Propoxur Aerosol, and Tri-Die.
Call a professional bee nest removal service. There's no question about it. When it comes to pest control, bees are scary. Besides that, you may not have the time or the equipment (ladders, dust sticks, extension wands, etc.) to properly control bees. So, for your own safety and peace of mind, consider contacting one of the bee control services in your area. The folks working for these bee removal services are experienced and they know what they're doing. Let them get stung.