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Is It Illegal to Kill Honey Bees?

Written By Sara Sabharwal


Is It Illegal to Kill Honey Bees

While honey bees may take up home in some inconvenient and unconventional places, it is not recommended to attempt to kill honey bees. Honey bees are territorial and they will defend their hives. But is it illegal to kill honey bees or just immoral?

While it is not illegal to kill honey bees, it is in bad taste and is cruel to kill such an important part of our earth’s ecosystem. Never try to kill honey bees on your own with store-bought spray or insecticide. 

We get honey bees can be a bit of a nuisance if they decide to take over your garden and they can be frightening to smaller children (and even some adults) who fear being stung.

But killing them shouldn’t even be a consideration. You should, also, never cover the opening to the hive to trap bees in or out. This makes them agitated as they want to save their queen.

Why Should You Not Kill Honey Bees?

Honey bees are extremely important to the earth’s ecosystem. If it weren’t for bees, over 70% of food crops would not be pollinated for humans to eat.

While honeybees can seem like a nuisance and can be scary since they have the ability to sting, they are some of the most important insects on our planet.

Honey bees are already in decline. Over the past few years, there have been initiatives to increase the planting of flowers and plants that provide food for pollinators like bees. These pollinator gardens are important to help keep the bees alive and healthy to be able to produce more generations of bees. 

Bees are in decline because of a lack of food sources as well as certain pesticides. Humans also tend to destroy bees’ natural habitats and remove them from spaces that provide them with food. Killing bees on purpose will further the decline of the bee population. 

What are the Benefits of Bees?

Bees are the most important pollinator. They will pollinate flowers, trees, vegetables and fruits. Without them, we’d lose a lot of our crops. This is why you need to attract bees and not dissuade them.

Will Bees Help My Garden?

Yes, bees will help to pollinate both flowers and vegetables. If you want to have a good yield in your veg patch then you need to encourage bees. The same applies if you want to see your flower beds full of blooms.

Where Do Honey Bees Make Their Homes?

Honey bees are known to build hives and nests in places that are not the most ideal. Sometimes they build their homes under decks, inside walls, or under awnings on your patio or porch.

If you notice bees have made a nest near your home, assess the situation. Bees will only use this home for one season. Once the cold of winter settles in, the queen bee will go into hibernation and most of the other bees will die off.

In the spring, the queen bee begins looking for a new home. If you can, try to wait out the season to allow the bees to live and function in their home. If the home is in a spot that is too close to your home or is inside your home, you may need to remove the bees immediately. 

When it is decided that you need to remove the bees from their home, do not try to do this on your own. It can be incredibly dangerous to interfere with a hive of bees. Honey bees live in colonies and are very social creatures.

The female worker bees have stingers and even though they will die if they sting, they will sting to defend their nests. The sting of a honey bee releases pheromones that call out to other bees to tell of an impending attack or threat and to come immediately.

Honey bees are known to swarm if the hive is touched, attacked, or knocked from its place. 

Do not try to seal the entryway of a honeybee hive. This will make the bees incredibly agitated and more likely to be aggressive and sting you.

Do not try to smack a honeybee hive from its location. Doing this will make the bees aggressive and defend their space. Also, if their hive is destroyed, or the queen bee dies, the worker bees do not know what to do.

They panic and begin looking for a new hive and new queen bee. This leads to massive swarms of honey bees that are loose and dangerous and hard to contain.

Want to Attract Bees to Your Garden?

We’ve Put Together a Complete Guide to Attracting Bees to Your Garden Including Our Top 14 Plants You NEED to Have in Your Garden:

How to Remove a Honey Bee Hive

It is best to call your local beekeeper when you want a honey bee hive removed. These trained professionals will ensure that the bees are moved safely, quickly, and efficiently to new farms.

Usually, the beekeeper will begin by spraying the hive with a sleep-inducing gas. Then, they suck the bees into a special vacuum tool that safely encases the bees inside. Once the beekeeper locates the queen, they put the queen in a special box.

They will use that box to keep the queen in the new hive. Worker bees will stay with their queen, so when they wake up from their little nap in their new hive, they will be happy to see their queen safe and sound. 

Beekeeping services range from volunteers to paid professionals to environmental activist groups. Many beekeepers will remove the bees for free since they use the honey from the bees to make a profit.

Other beekeeping services are committed to the bee population and will gladly help protect these important creatures. 


Killing honey bees isn’t illegal. But the question should be, why exactly would you want to kill honey bees. Honey bees bring endless benefits to the planet and killing them is simply immoral.

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