How Much Is Pest Control for Bees? How To Figure Bee Exterminator Cost (Types)

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Pest Control | January 4, 2024

Man with money wonders how much is pest control for bees and bee exterminator costs while an exterminator sprays and provides types of bee hive removal options available, including free bee removal and emergency bee removal.

What is the average bee exterminator cost and how much is pest control for bees? You may find yourself asking these questions if you encounter bees on your property.

Everyone knows that bees are critical players in our ecosystem. They are one of the world’s most important pollinators.

Without them, much of the plant life we rely on would die out. There has rightfully been much public outcry over the decline in bee populations in recent years, but sometimes bees simply end up in the wrong place.

Their hives could potentially damage homes and of course, they are a potentially dangerous nuisance when gathered in large numbers around allergic people.

If you find yourself needing a bee removal service, this article explains how bee exterminator costs work and the answer to the question, how much is pest control for bees, including the factors that impact the price.5

Bee Extermination: Bee Exterminator Cost

Bee exterminators and killing bees are falling out of fashion and considered an antiquated approach.

Because extermination requires removal as well, there is no real reason to exterminate the bees and then remove them rather than just remove them when alive.

beehive removal cost

Poisonous chemicals are used for the killing and that means exposing yourself and your property to these chemicals. Live bee removal is the best-case scenario for all parties and the good news is that a bee exterminator cost is usually higher than the cost for live removal, meaning live removal is better for all parties involved.

Extermination requires specialized equipment, toxic chemicals, and then vacuums and removal anyway. That is why extermination can cost up to $1000 or $1500, over twice as expensive as many live removal services.

Remember, many local beekeepers may perform live removal for free!2

Bee Removal (Bee Hive Removal)

If you determine that a hive on your property has to be removed to ensure the safety of people or property, the best thing to do is to hire a bee removal expert. Bee removal is sometimes classified as ‘live bee removal,’ to distinguish it from methods that harm the bees.

The good news is that live bee removal is not only better for the bees but also better for your property and your wallet. The bee removal process is relatively straightforward.

When calling a local beekeeper be sure to inform them about everything you have seen, from the type and number of bees, to the size and location of any nest. You should ask ahead of time about the approximate exterminator prices and about the beekeeper’s availability.

If they are unable or unwilling to meet your specific needs, they will likely be able to recommend someone who will. Next, arrange a time for the bee remover to come.

The best time will be during the day when there are no children around. The amount of time it takes for a beekeeper to remove a colony will depend on a number of factors, but prepare for them to be there for over an hour.

Beehive Removal Cost (Saving Bee Exterminator Cost)

Many beekeepers will take a hive off your hands for free. If you don’t know any in your area, try searching the National Association for Beekeepers.

If you cannot find anyone willing to do it for free and need to resort to a paid service, beehive removal costs can range from $0 to $1500 depending on many factors.8 Location is a big one.

If you live in an upscale neighborhood where the cost of living is generally high, or in a neighborhood without local services your cost will be generally higher. If you need a professional to come out, the average carpenter bee treatment cost is probably around $500.

Terminix pricing could be much higher, although the best course of action is always to confirm a quote ahead of time when calling the service. It is highly recommended, before asking professionals for a quote on bee removal or bee exterminator cost, to contact local beekeepers.

They represent the $0 cost because they often want the bees and will take them off your hands for free!2

Free Beehive Removal (Free Bee Removal)

Swarms are a group of bees who are looking for a new home.

There is a complex process by which this happens, but in beekeeping, it is commonly understood as a colony looking for a good location for a new hive.

A man trying to resolve a bee infestation through free beehive removal.

(Image: maria-anne10)

This usually happens in spring. Swarm removal is light work for even a casual beekeeper.

Some may even do the job for free, although that should not be expected. Consider calling a local apiary or beekeeper and asking if they would take the swarm off your hands this way you can avoid bee removal and bee exterminator cost.6

It is a win-win for all parties. This free option is usually viable for swarms and smaller hives.

If the bees have built an extensive nest and comb, especially if it is underground or in a place difficult to access, the beekeeper will likely ask for a service fee for removal. Each beekeeper will likely have a different removal process, but usually, they follow a lot of the same steps.7

The first thing they do will be to identify the location of the hive and the type of bees. Then they will make a plan to figure out the best removal plan.

Their priority will be of course the safety of people around, including their own, the safety of the bees, and of course overall efficiency. They may be wearing a veil or a full bee suit for protection, but the reality is that most veteran beekeepers will not need any equipment at all for a docile colony of bumblebees or honey bees.

Once they get to the colony they will assess its temperament. They can gauge whether a colony is calm or agitated.

If the bees raise their buzzing pitch or start flying erratically and bumping into the beekeeper or of course stinging, these are signs that the bees are agitated. When it’s time to begin the removal, the beekeeper will start with the hive.

Usually, a hive is built in pieces, so they will calmly remove each piece of the hive and transfer it into a transportation vessel between moving onto the bees. Usually, this vessel will actually be a new box hive.

It is a relatively simple structure made with a ventilated box and some frames in which to set the removed comb pieces. The pieces can be set in wood frames with simple rubber bands.

The bees will have no problem making this their new home. They will actually chew through the rubber bands and remove them themselves eventually.

The most important player in this process is the queen bee. For honey bee colonies her only real job is laying eggs.

Locating the queen bee during a removal makes the process much easier because all the other bees in the hive will gravitate to her. If the beekeeper locates the queen bee, they may put her into a special clip, which is basically a small cage with holes just big enough for the worker bees to get in and out, while keeping the queen inside.

The clip will then be placed inside the new hive, for the workers to follow. The beekeeper may use other tools or even their hands to speed up the transfer of bees into the new hive.

What happens next depends on the beekeeper. Most have their own rural properties where they will be happy to transport the bees and set up their hive.

After a few days, they will likely go in and release the queen from her clip. From there the colony will decide if it wants to stay in the new home the beekeeper has set up for it or move on.

The most important thing is that the hive is safe and away from people it would harm or otherwise bother. Again, whether or not a beekeeper will charge you for this service will likely depend on your location, the size, type, and temperament of the colony, along with their current demand for bees.

Contacting a local beekeeper is without a doubt the best way to get rid of a bee colony on your property. They can be found through a quick internet search or via the National Association of Beekeepers website.1,4

Bee Infestation Removal

Each bee is different and requires different approaches from a professional. Therefore the best first step is to identify the type of bee.

From there you can call a professional beekeeper and ask for help or a quote. Some bees have exotic color schemes, for example, there are a few North American species of black and white bee.

Below is an overview of the most common black and yellow species. Honey bees are the type of bee everyone is familiar with.

They are very small and can be completely harmless. They like outdoor nesting areas such as spare lumber or trees.

Photo of a an exterminator of bees while at work.

(Image: 1 bayanın gözüyle11)

One reason they are so common is the enormous size of their colonies. They can house 10,000 to 70,000 bees.

These bees will sting if they get overly agitated or threatened. The stinger has a barb that sticks in, and after losing the stinger, the bee dies.

Bumblebees, for example, usually build nests close to the ground, sometimes in the ground, that can house several hundred of the bees. Only females have stingers, and the bees are usually considered relatively harmless without provocation.

Many people confuse them with honey bees. One difference is that bumble bees can sting several times before losing their stingers.

Another type of bee you may encounter is the carpenter bee. These resemble bumble bees but have less hair with shiny black bodies.

These bees bore holes, and thus have a wide range of potential habitats. This boring behavior can concern people, but the good news with these bees is that they do not live in colonies and rarely sting.

Wasps are technically not a bee, coming from the order of apocrine insects, but they are commonly seen as and referred to as bees. The three most common types are paper wasps, yellowjackets, and hornets.

Paper wasps mix tiny wood scrapings with their saliva to create material for building open-combed nests, usually in sheltered areas. They are considered prolific pollinators.

They will only attack if they or their nest is threatened and their venom is usually only harmful to those allergic. Yellowjackets look similar, but build their nests in trees or low vegetation.

They have a maximum colony size of around 5000. The adults eat carbohydrates, but they are attracted to meats because that is what they feed the larvae.

Their colonies die out every year, only the queen surviving. Hornets are probably the most dreaded, and therefore potentially the most expensive bee species you may have a problem with.

Like the other wasps, they build paper nests and usually die off in the winter. Male wasps are usually quite tame, it is the females you need to watch out for.

They can use their stingers on prey and to defend their nests. The stingers are more painful than those of other species because they contain large amounts of acetylcholine.

They can also release an attack pheromone to insight a swarm. Because of this defense mechanism and their serious stings, hornets can be more expensive to remove.4

DIY Bee Removal

The most important part of DIY bee removal is personal safety. You should have already correctly identified the type of bee along with the size and location of the colony.

Next, you should be sure that you are not allergic to bee stings. If you are, stings could be dangerous and even potentially fatal, in which case it is best to resort to a professional.

Even without allergy, safety equipment should include thick clothing that covers exposed parts of the body, safety goggles with sealed edges, and ideally some sort of mask or scarf to cover the face and head. From here your approach will be dictated by the type of bee and the size and location of the colony.

If you have a means to remove the colony without damage, this will be the best approach. The most important thing in addressing or removing a beehive is what not to do.

It is not recommended to spray any chemical pesticides on the bees. This is for a number of reasons.

First, spraying something on the hive will likely provoke an attack, and you do not want that to happen when you are close. Second, it is completely unnecessary.

It is unlikely that you will be able to do anything significant with the chemical without getting stung. The best thing to do if you cannot humanely and safely remove the bees yourself is to contact a professional beekeeper.

It is likely they will take the problem off your hands for free!3

Emergency Bee Removal

The reality is that, since bees are often tied to hives, usually there is no real reason for emergency bee removal. If many bees are present on your property – say you have discovered a nest in your garden or shed, the job can wait a few hours or a few days.

Photo of a side of a truck with "911" written on it.

(Image: AmySue H12)

Usually, when people call 911 for bees it is because they have an extreme phobia of bees and a few made it inside their house. Occasionally, people will encounter a swarm.

This is a group of bees looking for a new home. A swarm can land on your porch, take an interest in your car, or even accidentally fly inside your house.

The most important thing in these situations is that you do not seal the opening where the bees are coming in from. If a few bees fly inside your door, leave it open.

Bees do not want to be in your house. They will try to find a way out, and so you should give them one.

If you don’t let them out the way they came, they will be forced to find another way out, sometimes through light fixtures or vents. If there are concerns about allergies, and bees pose a real danger, have the vulnerable person go into an empty room and seal under the door with towels.

Or simply have them step outside. Remember, bees do not want to sting people if they are left alone.

The next step in an emergency is to call a bee service that serves your local area. A quick internet search should return multiple options.

Again, true bee emergency situations are remarkably rare. If there is an option to simply move away from the bees or let them find their own way out of your home, that should be done first.

For colonies in a non-emergency situation, call a local beekeeper. They can be found on national beekeeper registries or via a quick internet search.4

Signs of a Bee Infestation

Although there are many different types of bees and several reasons why someone would want them removed, there are usually a few indicators that lead to people realizing they may require a removal service. First and foremost, noticing a hive or nest.

bee infestation removal

Beehives are mostly associated with honeybees, especially the subgenus Apis. The word beehive is commonly used to denote any bee colony best, however, among professionals, there is a difference between nests and hives.

Nests are for colonies that house themselves in cavities or build structures that are hanging and/or exposed. A hive is used to describe a specific man-made structure designed for the nest of honey bees.

Bees will build hexagonal wax cells called honeycomb. This is where they store their honey and pollen and where they raise their young.

The purpose of the beehive is to encourage honey production and supply the bees with housing. Often, hives are transported around by beekeepers to pollinate crops in different areas.

In a natural setting, without the benefit of man-made hives, bees will use natural cavities as nesting locations. Think about spaces in rock or hollow trees.

They can also build nests that hang, and different bee species have different preferences for nesting type and location, however, the layout of most combs is the same. The bees use the upper part of the comb to store honey, the part beneath that to store pollen, then cells for worker larvae, and then for drone larvae, in descending order.

The queen has her own special cells built usually at the comb’s bottom edge. Nests mostly occur with wasp populations.

Wasps are attracted to homes because they often provide shelter. With the destruction of forests and natural habitats, they often have nowhere else to be.

There are three common types of wasps: paper wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets. The queen makes the building material by scraping up bits of wood fiber and mixing it with her saliva to create a paper-mache-type material.

She then distributes it so the workers can shape it into the nest. Paper wasp nets are usually small and umbrella-shaped.

Hornets are larger and more football-shaped. They require less shelter and can often be found hanging from trees.

You will rarely see a yellowjacket nest, as they prefer to build underground. If you see bees going underground, make sure you get a good look at the bee to perform proper ground-nesting bees identification.

If wasps made a nest near your property the good news is that it won’t last a year. During autumn, wasps leave their nests permanently and let them decompose.

The new nest will be built wherever the queen decides to go. This is why many wasp nests you might see are just empty husks!

The second most common sign of a bee infestation is probably just excessive bees. You may notice an unusual amount of bees in your yard or somewhere outside.

It’s important not to overreact in these cases. As mentioned, bees are a critical part of our environment. If the concentration becomes dangerous or if you discover the bees are coming from somewhere like under your house, it’s likely you should take measures to remove them.

A third sign of bee infestation is characteristic dark patches on the interior surfaces of your home. This can happen if you have a honey-bee colony behind one of your walls or in between floors.

The honey can actually seep into the surface and leave a dark mark visible. Of course, there are a lot of potential causes for dark marks on ceilings and walls.

Moisture is another common one. So if you are noticing marks, take extra steps to confirm their cause.

This severity of bee infestation in a well-maintained home is rare.1,3

How To Prevent Bee Infestation

The single best way to prevent a bee infestation is to keep your food covered.9 Everyone knows that bees are attracted to food, and this is one of the common reasons they come around homes.

They love sweets and animal products like meat and dairy. It’s fine to leave the windows open while enjoying food, or take meals in the garden, but probably not advisable to leave sweets out on a kitchen counter or outside on a table for hours on end.

Especially in the summertime, make sure you’re not making your place a bee magnet. Another thing you can do if you are wondering how to get rid of bees is simply use a natural bee repellent.

Certain essential oils like peppermint, cinnamon, citronella, and spicy pepper oils are surprisingly effective repellents for all types of bees and pests. You can mix them into a liquid form and spray them in a simple water solution.

Or you can obtain herbs like citronella and burn them inside or outside (safely). This has been done for generations to repel bees and mosquitoes and the beauty is it is a totally natural and incredible-smelling perfume as well.

A third thing you can do is simply make your local area a haven for birds and bats. These critters are not as much of a nuisance to your house or people and are just as important to the ecosystem.

bee infestation removal

You may be surprised how much a birdbath or bird feeder will reduce an insect problem around your home.

“How much is pest control for bees” is an essential question to ask, especially when considering preventive measures, as this could save you the bee exterminator cost in the future.1

Frequently Asked Questions About Bee Exterminator Cost

Are Bees and Wasps Different?

Bees and wasps are technically different categories of animals, although we commonly refer to types of wasps as ‘bees.’ When contacting a professional beekeeper for removal service be clear to specify if you are dealing with a wasp problem.

Should I Do Live Removal or Call an Exterminator?

Live removal is always the preferred option, for the environment and your pocket. Live removal involves no toxic chemicals, is safe and humane, and maybe even free!

How Do I Know if I Have a Bee Problem?

If you notice bees on your property, take steps to identify the nature and severity of the problem. If the bees have infested a structure such as a house or shed, call a beekeeper to remove them.


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3Buzz About Bees. (2021, February 11). Bee Swarm Removal: What To Do and How. BUZZABOUTBEES. Retrieved November 18, 2023, from <>

4San Diego Bee Keeping Society. (2023). Bee Removal. SANDIEGOBEEKEEPINGSOCIETY. Retrieved November 18, 2023, from <>

5Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Texas Apiary Inspection Service. (2023). Bee Removal. TAMU. Retrieved November 18, 2023, from <>

6Hood, W. M. (2023). Honey Bee Colony Removal From Structures. CLEMSON. Retrieved November 18, 2023, from <>

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8O’Malley, M. K., & Ellis, J. D. (2021, April 07). CHOOSING THE RIGHT PEST CONTROL OPERATOR FOR HONEY BEE REMOVAL: A CONSUMER GUIDE. UFL. Retrieved November 18, 2023, from <>

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10Swarm of Bees Photo by maria-anne / M. Roth. Resized and Changed Format. Pixabay. Retrieved January 4, 2024 from <>

11Professional Bee Removal Photo by 1 bayanın gözüyle. Resized and Changed Format. Pexels. Retrieved January 4, 2024 from <>

12911 Emergency Removal Photo by AmySue H. Resized and Changed Format. Pexels. Retrieved January 4, 2024 from <>