How do I find a trusted live bee removal company to rescue my bees?

You want to find a company who only does live bee removal and doesn’t use pesticides. There are a dozen different bee removal companies in San Diego who share the same love for bees and who don’t kill colonies. Do not get recommendations from Yelp. They are a pay for ranking site and mostly bee exterminators who have paid to be listed with genuine bee rescue companies. If it says they have a verified pest control license it is likely they will kill your bees with poison. It is very sad when we are called to remove bees from a poison attempt, these weakened colonies can abandon their hive and can attract ants, rodents or mold inside your house. 

San Diego Bee Sanctuary is very passionate about bees and is registered with the Department of Industrial Relations, the Department of Agriculture Weights and Measures and insured by Beeinsure, the beekeeping insurance program.

How do you remove every bee?

We do everything we can to get the majority of the bees out using our special bee wrangling skills. Which included removing any comb, moving the bees to a hive box, and covering up all other remnants of the bees. We then transport the colony to one of our sanctuaries so they don’t return.

Why are there bees lingering after you removed them?

Our goal is to get every bee possible but keep in mind insects don’t always get the memo they’re moving. You may see “straggler bees” hang around for about four days after we take the colony because some simply don’t want to leave the home. This is normal and we will communicate with the homeowner to ensure we get any sizable amount (a ball of 100+ bees) that doesn’t want to disperse. This is typical of large established colonies for us to follow up with you.

What do you do with the bees?

After we remove the bees we relocate them to one of two 15 acre bee sanctuaries. There they are away from sensitive sights and neighborhoods while surrounded by beautiful natural chaparral and organic farms. Here we provide them with unique nutrients to keep large colonies healthy and grow small hives into a thriving colony.

We monitor and organically treat for varroa mites and other pests and focus on keeping healthy happy colonies. We also participate in scientific genetic testing for our wild rescue colonies to better understand what ancestry is within our local bees as we steer towards less defensive behavior and better mite resistance.

How long does a removal take?

Typically 2 hours but more challenging removals have lasted around 5 hours or require several visits. No two bee colonies are the same, and that rule applies with removals. We will communicate if it will take longer than expected.

Can we keep some of the honey from our bee removal?

Absolutely, we love to share local raw honey. Please leave a container with a lid before we begin so we can save you some. Keep in mind not all colonies have an abundance of honey and our goal is to rescue the bees, if we feel taking honey will harm the colony we unfortunately cannot provide any. 

We have killer bees can you help?

Yes we can! We are are extremely passionate and interested in Africanization in our local honey bees. These colonies are typically more aggressive and can attack nearby humans and animals they deem a threat to the hive. We specialize in hazardous hive removal and also specialize in requeening spicy back yard colonies to reduce defensive behavior. What we hope is that by our efforts with proactive and responsible beekeeping practices we can affect the structure of our local honey bees.

Can I keep bees in my backyard do I have enough room?

We get asked this often and we are excited to hear so many people are interested in keeping pollinators in their local environment. Unfortunately not everyone has the space for bees but San Diego County does allow for two hives in a backyard within a certain distance from fence lines, neighboring building and pathways and includes some other factors to consider. To get more information on those guidelines here are the links to the

San Diego County Guidelines

San Diego County Apiary Program

Do you recommend any beekeeping courses?

We actually do. The most concise and easy to access course we recommend is with Penn State Extension. It is a great price and you will get a lot of information fast. Link below.

Beekeeping 101