Q: I think I have honey bees that I need removed; how do I tell for sure if that's what they are?
A: Below are some insects which can occasionally be mistaken for honey bees, with links to Wikipedia for photos and additional information. If you can send us a good photo we can often confirm from our end as well.
Q: Do you deal with wasps/yellow jackets/etc?
A: We are willing to provide for relocation of honey bees and bumble bees. We do not work with wasps/hornets/mud daubers/etc.
Q: Do you remove Africanized Honey Bees? What do you do with them?
A: Yes, we are experienced in dealing with all manner of honey bees, including Africanized "Killer Bees." Hives that show hyper-defensive tendencies indicative of possible Africanized influence are relocated to an isolated location, where their queen is killed and replaced with a European queen. This enables us to save the hive while putting an end to the spread of any potentially dangerous genetics.
Q: How do you approach hive removals? Will you have to cut holes in my wall/roof/tree?
A: We usually recommend the "cut out" approach to hive removals, which is so named because we cut the wax comb to remove it, not because we are necessarily cutting apart the structure. Though we do not usually offer repair services, we take an approach relying heavily on careful disassembly. This usually enables the same materials to go right back up when we're done. Different situations may call for different levels of disassembly, but the homeowner will be thoroughly consulted on the process.
Q: Do you do hive removals year-round?
A: We consult on hive removals all year, but don't recommend doing them in late Fall and Winter, for several reasons. Mainly, it is unfortunate for the bees' survival of the removal to be handicapped by the season. Some removal companies maintain the stance that they can perform successful live removals regardless of season, but the truth is that most winter removals are unlikely to end in the colony successfully transitioning intact into a new home. Secondly, we recommend against winter removals because honey bees are unlikely to be in any way problematic in the winter, since they are mostly holed up in their hive shivering to stay warm. We strongly recommend relocations be performed in spring, summer, and early fall.
We do occasionally perform winter removals when the customers situation absolutely necessitates it... we believe that an attempted live removal is better than extermination if no other choice is available. Any chance is better than no chance at all.
Contact us any time of year for options and information.
Q: How long does a hive removal take?
A: A hive relocation should be completed the first day, but you may still see some bees congregating around where the hive used to be for a week or two following the removal as foragers gradually return to the hive to find it missing.
Q: Is there an approach that doesn't involve opening up the cavity where the hive is located?
A: Yes, but it isn't a workable option in most situations. Also, it simply isn't an approach we're usually comfortable recommending, because it leaves the comb in place afterwards. Removing the comb and filling the cavity is the only way to guarantee against future hives in the same location.
Q: Do you use insecticides?
A: We use a bee-friendly approach that does not involve insecticides.
Q: Aren't there people who don't charge for hive removals?
A: This is largely a misunderstanding stemming from some beekeepers picking up swarm clusters (bees without comb who are looking for a home) in their neighborhood free of charge. Occasionally discount options can be found for established situations, but both your property and the bees may get what you pay for. Free options are not professionals, and usually do not carry insurance, plan ahead for repairs, or stand behind their work.
Also consider verifying that your selection is registered beekeeper with the Texas Apiary Inspection Service (as provided by Texas Agriculture Code, Section 131.043 & 131.045 and required by Occupations Code Chapter 1951), as well as permitted to transport removals (as required by Texas Agriculture Code, Section 131.043 & 131.045) before allowing a relocation attempt.
Q: Are you registered and permitted with the TAIS?
A: Yes, all of our removal specialists are qualified beekeepers who are registered with TAIS and have permits for removal transportation.
Q: Is HBRS associated with any beekeeping groups or organizations?
A: Yes, our removers are active members of our local beekeeping groups (Trinity Valley Beekeepers Association, Collin County Hobbyist Beekeepers Association, Denton County Beekeepers Association, Metro Beekeepers Association), and Texas Beekeepers Association. Ryan is a participant in the Texas Master Beekeepers Program and involved with local associations all around the state.
Q: What happens to the bees after you remove them? Can I keep them?
A: Our standard removal agreement states that we own the hive we have removed; this helps us keep our fees competitive with exterminator pricing and helps get the bees the care they need to pull through after a removal. Though we usually do not recommend it, if you are a beekeeper with a registered apiary and would like to keep the bees we can often offer alternate pricing that accomplishes this purpose.
Q: Do you carry liability insurance?
A: Yes, we are suitably insured. We can also add you or your business as an additional insured if needed, please inquire for more details.
Q: Do you perform removals where I live?
A: We are primarily located in Dallas, with our main apiaries in several surrounding counties. We currently offer removal services in the following counties:
Dallas, Denton, Collin, Rockwall, Kaufman, Ellis, Johnson, Tarrant, Parker, Hood, Somervell, Hunt, Hill, & Bosque. Travel expenses may apply for some locations.
Q: What do removal services usually cost?
A: Costs vary depending on the space the bees have occupied and the difficulties involved in the removal. We give free quotes in response to photos via text or email, and when scheduling allows we are willing to make appointments for face-to-face consultation at a rate of $60/hr including travel time.
Q: Do you sell honey?
A: We usually do not. Honey produced by our rescue hives is food for bees first and foremost. For quality Dallas honey from beekeepers you can trust we recommend Texas Honeybee Guild or exploring options near you via the Real Texas Honey Map.
Q: Do you sell equipment/bees/etc?
A: We do not currently have merchandise of any sort for sale online. We occasionally sell custom-built Horizontal Langstroth hives in late winter, and can sell and install custom-built Observation Hives on a case-by-case basis. If interested please contact us for more info.
Q: I saw that you do educational outreach presentations about bees. What subjects do you cover?
A: Please see the Educational Events page and Available Presentations list for more information.
Q: Do you do presentations for kids?
A: Yes. We do educational work with kids of all ages. Ryan is approved for volunteer work in DISD.