Bees are helpful creatures: they pollinate flowers and produce delicious honey. That said, most people would prefer that the bees did these helpful tasks somewhere else, and not inside their walls or ceilings. Here's more info on what you need to know about the bee hive inside your house.
Bee hives can destroy your house
Some people think that bees are only a pest because they can give you a painful sting, and this isn't true. A bee hive inside your walls or ceiling can actually destroy your house. This is because of the honey that the bees produce. A single beehive can contain as much as 80 pounds of honey, and that much honey puts a lot of stress on your walls and ceilings. Even worse, the honey can start to leak out of the hive, causing more damage to your house.
You shouldn't remove the hive by yourself
Removing a bee hive isn't a do-it-yourself project. It's likely that you'll get stung during the attempt, and if you've never been stung before, you could find out the hard way that you're allergic to bee stings. Bee stings can cause anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction that can lead to death.
Even if you're not allergic to bee stings, removing the hive by yourself is still a bad idea. You will probably be stung between 12 and 20 times, and if you manage to annoy the entire colony, as many as 200 times! If the bees could turn out to be aggressive Africanized honey bees, also called killer bees, you could end up being stung 2,000 times. Getting stung this many times can be fatal, even if you're not allergic.
You should call a beekeeper first
Beekeepers raise bees for the honey they produce, and if it's the right time of year, they might want your bees. If you discover the hive in the spring, the bees still have many months left to produce honey before they die in the fall. A local beekeeper will collect these bees for free since they can still make money from them. If you find the hive in the summer, the bees don't have much longer to live, and won't produce much more honey. It's usually not worth a beekeeper's time and effort to collect those bees.
Beekeepers can't always help
If you discover the hive at the end of the summer, killing the bees may be the only option. Pest control companies can kill the bees safely, so let them handle it, rather than trying to do it yourself. After they kill the bees, they will remove both the dead bees and their honeycomb. Removing the honeycomb is very important since it can attract more bees to the empty hive.
More bees might move in
Once the bees have been either relocated or killed, their empty hive looks pretty appealing to other bees. This is true even if the honeycomb from the first hive has been removed. The hive will still smell like bees, and will still be an a safe and easily accessible place to build a hive.
To keep more bees from moving in, seal any openings that allow bees to get inside. Inspect the exterior of your house, paying extra attention to the area near the hive. You can use a can of spray foam insulation to seal small cracks and holes. If there are any vents near the hive's location, cover them with screens to keep the bees out.
Bees are useful creatures, so if possible, try not to kill them. If you can't find a beekeeper to help you, hire a pest control company, and don't try to do it yourself.