In my neighbourhood, a little outside of Perth, the promise of spring is almost always heralded by the soft hum of bees busying themselves in search of sweet nectar. Like everything else in nature, these bees seem wonderfully orchestrated until they decide to make a home in an inconvenient spot in mine - usually the eaves of my house. Now, even a seasoned blogger like me with a faithful Golden Retriever named Pluto for a companion, wouldn't want this buzzing menace around. Before we dive in and dive out again, disassembling a bee hive, it’s best to know a little about them to understand the proper "buzz-haviour".
Bees, despite their penchant for finding cosy spots in one's home, play a crucial role in our ecology. They are responsible for a quarter of everything we eat, through pollination, and are essential for the survival of numerous plant species. This was the reason I found myself dwindling the first time I had to remove a hive from my home. Audacious as it sounds, one could just leave them be, sort of a live and let live approach. However, if they pose a threat to you, your family (and in my case, the fear Pluto might develop a fascination for them), then removal becomes necessary.
In Australia, we have our fair share of venomous creatures. While a single bee sting might not account for much, multiple stings can lead to significant and, in rare cases, even fatal allergic reactions. I remember a time when I tried to get rid of a hive by myself. A few stings later, my bravado was deflated, and I vowed never to wing it again. The ordeal was downright pain-ful, and even Pluto was no help, hiding under the bed. The lessons learned were best to leave it to the professionals, and that dogs, apparently, also have a sense of self-preservation.
Finding a hive in your property could be quite the treasure hunt. Bees are clever architects and can build a hive in a variety of places. They prefer dark, secure locations, places like your loft, within walls or even in a tree cavity. Unwanted honey dripping down your living room wall is not the best situation, believe me! Once you've located the hive, it's time to find the professionals. Be sure to choose a company that not only removes the hive but does it in a bee-friendly manner, relocating the swarm rather than destroying it.
Once the professionals have done their job and the erstwhile buzzing tenants are relocated, it's crucial to clean up the area. Bees leave behind a distinct scent that can attract other bees or pests. I remember the first time I got a hive removed, I didn't know about this, and lo and behold, in a month, a new hive was humbly buzzing. So ensure every trace of the hive and its scent is removed to avoid a sticky repeat situation.
Safety first, they say, and it's no different for houses prone to bee infestations. After all, who wants to go through bee hive removal repeatedly? I've learned my lessons, and now I take measures to prevent future infestations. This involves regular checks of suspected places, keeping trash and food scents in check (as they can attract bees) and sealing unfrequented or vulnerable parts of the house. If you live in Australia, especially in Perth, doing this around the start of spring, late August to early September, can save you a lot of trouble.
While getting rid of a bee hive involves inconvenience and some cost, it's essential to remember that bees are not merely pesky insects. They form an essential cog in the wheel of biodiversity, contributing significantly to pollination and, thereby, food production. It's a humbling realization, really, the next time you swat at one or find honey trickling down your wall. The next time you find a hive, I hope you recall this article, take the right steps, and remember - there's no need to create a buzz when you can effectively manage one!