Getting bees to buzz off

RentCover’s Melbourne offices recently suffered a bee invasion – and so could your tenants!

In our case, a bee from a hive on an exterior wall came inside through an air vent. It was dispatched with a claims file! Then the bee’s buddies decided to swarm in too.

 A few brave staff members dealt with the invaders with rolled up newspapers and other makeshift weapons until the exterminator arrived.

In a residential rental situation, pest removal is usually the landlord’s responsibility – but who do you call?

It depends whether the bees are in a swarm or a hive – and their location on the property.

Pest removal companies are the obvious choice, with fees reported by landlords online in the order of $150-250.

Sometimes, a better alternative is to call a beekeeper. They typically charge lower fees – or, occasionally, no fee – and keep the bees alive to produce honey instead of killing them.  

The lower fees are particularly important because landlord insurance excludes damage caused by insects, rodents or other wildlife.  To find beekeepers in your state, see our guide below.

Beekeepers can almost always move swarms or easily-accessible hives – however a pest controller is your best bet if a hive is difficult to access.

Bee hives can contain anything between 5000 and 100,000 bees and are typically found in sheltered, enclosed spaces like attics, between wall studs, meter boxes, chimneys and compost bins.

When a bee population grows too big for the hive, bees swarm off to establish another colony. A swarm will gather in a tight ball of bees on a warm spot such as a tree or fence.