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An exposed bee nest within a wall

Bee Nests – “BEE-ing” Bad Roommates

When the bees move in, they sometimes LITERALLY move in! We took this picture of a bee nest at a local mobile home club house recently. The bees got into the wall and built a huge new bee nest within it. Fortunately the park discovered it after hearing loud buzzing sounds in the area and called us before anyone got stung. Our technician spent two days spraying it all down and scraping out the honeycomb. Fortunately, we were able to get the bees out and prevent further danger to the residents. However, it’s an important reminder to keep an eye out for concealed bee nests on your property!

How do bees get into walls and other structures?

Generally through cracks and holes. Bees don’t create openings themselves – they aren’t equipped to do that type of damage the way termites can. But if the surface is already damaged enough for them to get into, it’s fair game as far as they’re concerned! And once they’re in, the nest construction begins. You usually have a day or two after that point to notice them and get them out easily before they’re fully established in the structure. After that, the removal and clean-up process becomes much more intrusive (and expensive!).

How do I prevent bee nests in my house and other structures?

Be sure to regularly inspect the structures on your property for degradation (a.k.a., holes, cracks and collapsed sections in the surface). Immediately patch any that you find with caulking, spackle, netting, or other material appropriate for the type of structure.

How do I treat bees that have infested my walls or other structures? Can I do it myself?

Though many species of honey bee are relatively docile away from their nest, almost all will aggressively defend their nests if they perceive a nearby threat. Now that the highly aggressive Africanized Honey Bees and their hybrids make up such a large portion of Arizona’s total bee population, the risk of attack is even greater if you threaten them. If you see or hear signs of a bee nest nearby (e.g., bee swarms, buzzing sounds, etc.), we STRONGLY recommend maintaining a safe distance of at least a few hundred feet and giving us a call! (Even the University of Arizona discourages non-professionals from dealing with a bee problems on their own.)

For more information on bees, check out our other articles here and here.