I have a hive of bees living in the attic, or maybe the soffit, of a rental house. (A soffit is the enclosed rafter ends that stick out past the exterior walls.)
Last year I had another swarm clinging to the outside of an old house built in 1889. I tried calling several local apiaries but on their answering machines it said they didn't remove swarms of bees.
That time I just called an exterminator but it was sad to see hundreds of bees in a clump falling on the ground. Also, there were hundreds of dead bees on the grass and many of them were eaten by birds. When we sprayed inside the hole an unknown number of dead bees were left inside too. I would like to remove the current hive, not spray them.
These bees appear to be smaller and darker than the normal bees in our area. Also, they are more curious and came out and flew around when I went up to the immediate area and was watching them go in and out. They were not aggressive, nobody got stung, but they were really in our face. I was probably 4 feet away and decided that was close enough.
How do I get rid of them? Can they be removed or do I need to call the exterminator? Are there small, dark colored wild bees in northern California?
Grant Johnston, Chico, CA
They can most likely be removed it is just a problem with finding someone close to you that will do it.
Maybe someone nearby will respond to remove them.
Yes, wild bees are smaller in general. If you see larger bees they are probably from a swarm from a commercial hive.
Some are black. Some are more brown with stripes.
Seems that I recall that Dadant has a bee Supply bussines there in Chico. Contact them and maybe they can put you in contact with someone local.
Thanks for the answers. Is it safe to work around the hive after dark? I'm thinking I can staple screen over the crack they use to enter and leave.
I think I'll try to get the workers into another box, then tear open the soffit and remove any comb and live bees. I read several of the older post about making a funnel out of window screen and inticing the workers into a new hole with lemon grass oil. It sounds like fun -- but not if the bees are active. My tenant got stung twice patching a hole that went into the house.
They tend to be more aggressive after dark if you disturb them.
If you staple the screen on at night when there all home, they will be trapped inside.
"If you staple the screen on at night when there all home, they will be trapped inside."
Yes, the intention was to force them out the funnel and hopefully have them return into a box (or styrofoam ice chest When there was no more coming out of the attic I could tear into it and get the rest, them haul them out to the edge of town. Thanks for the help.