There are a lot of companies out there presenting themselves as live removal options.  While many of these companies may provide quality services, the unfortunate side-effect of the increasing demand for live removals has been that there are also some companies that do not really even try to save the bees.  Some are simply subtle extermination with a smile and a happy story, relying on misdirection, dishonesty, and finding uninformed customers. 

There are even extermination options in the metroplex who specialize in killing honey bees.  They may be some of the first Google responses for live removal; they may even claim to be beekeepers in their company name.  These companies rely on a bait-and-switch approach, offering live removal at impractically high prices so as to convince customers to hire them to exterminate.  They will happily kill the bees, leave the dead bees and poisoned honey in your wall contrary to modern exterminator training, and depart knowing full well this can damage your home and kill bees from colonies belonging to local beekeepers which scavenge the poisoned honey.

So some things you should know:

1) Ask if the person performing the removal is permitted with the Texas Apiary Inspection Service.  This is required to transport live removals, and is not required to exterminate.

2) Ask if the person performing the removal is licensed for pesticide application.  This is required for extermination and not required for live removals.  I would be highly skeptical of a "live removal" option carrying this license.

3) Watch for white dust or other signs of insecticide usage.  No live removal requires dusting of insecticides, and this is illegal if it is done by a person who is not licensed for pesticide application.  There are many companies vacuuming a few bees for show and then exterminating the colony because it's quick and easy compared to a live relocation attempt.

4) Ask what's happening to the bees they remove.  We can always tell you where the hive is going.  I would be highly skeptical of a company that can't answer this question. 

 

5) Ask them questions about bees.  Ask how many hives they manage.  Ask about their involvement in local and state beekeepers associations.  Beekeepers love to talk about bees, while exterminators do not. 

...and if you've had a negative experience with a company killing bees you would have preferred to save, please spread the word.

Recognizing A Live Removal