Preventing Bees from Nesting on your Property On-site Bees
The best way to prevent bees from establishing a colony on your property is to not provide them with an ideal environment for survival. Bees will look for nest sites that are protected and enclosed. Honey bees nest in a wide variety of locations and may enter openings as small as 3/16-inch in diameter (about the size of a pencil eraser) as long as there is a suitable-sized cavity behind the opening for a nest. They may nest in such diverse sites as water meter boxes, under sheds, in saguaro cacti, or in overturned pots.
Inspect your home and yard regularly for signs of bee colonies. A single bee or just a few bees in your yard does not mean you have an established colony on your property. These bees are simply foraging for food and water. Removing flowers as a source of food is not an effective bee deterrent. Look for large numbers of bees passing into and out of or hovering in front of an opening. Listen for the hum of active insects. Look low for colonies in or at ground level, and also high for colonies under eaves or in attics.
Eliminate shelter. To prevent honey bees from settling in your house or yard, you will need to be vigilant in preventing potential nesting sites.
- Caulk cracks in walls, in the foundation and in the roof.
- Fill or cover all holes 1/8-inch in diameter or larger in trees, structures and/or block walls.
- Make sure chimneys are covered properly.
- Put small mesh screen (such as window screen) over attic vents, irrigation valve boxes and water meter box key holes.
- Remove any trash or debris that might serve as a shelter for honey bees.
- Keep shed doors tightly closed and in good repair and exercise caution when entering buildings that are not used frequently.
- If you find a colony on your property, consult a bee expert. Colonies located around the house should be removed as soon as possible. Stay away from the colony and keep pets from going near the area. Do not try to remove colonies yourself! There are many qualified experts who specialize in honeybee removal. Some may even provide live removal without harming the colony.