Friday, November 4, 2011

FREE Hornet Removal ! (yes, it's baaack!)

FREE Hornet Nest Removal
(Effective Nov 7th, 2011 till????)
Yes, you read the title correctly, we are offering Free Hornet Nest Removals, no strings attached. We are participating in a research trial,  and are looking for suitable candidates for this trial.  However, there are conditions to be met, in order for these nests to be included in the free hornet removals. And some exclusions exist as well. Should your nest not qualify, we certainly can perform removals at a reasonable charge.

Here are the conditions:
  1. The nest must be located in one of the following counties: Marion, Levy, Dixie, Gilchrist, Alachua, Putnam, Clay, Bradford, Union, Lafayette, Suwannee, and the southern portions of Columbia and Baker Counties. Please see map below highlighting areas covered.
  2. The nest must be active. (containing live adult hornets, at the minimum. Live immatures are ok, too.)
  3. The nest must be Bald-Faced Hornets, scientific name is Dolichovespula maculata .  Please see representative photos below. Other species of stinging insects are not included in this program, including Yellow Jackets ( Vespula spp.), Paper Wasps ( Polistes spp. ), Honey Bees ( Apis mellifera ) or any other stinging insects. We can perform removals for a reasonable fee on these other insects.
  4. The nest must be accessible and removable by normal means, either at an accessible height, or with a 12 foot stand-alone ladder. (usually no taller than 20 feet, and able to remove the nest intact. Shredded nests or pieces of nest are useless for this program)
  5. We must be allowed to use insecticide. EPA labeled insecticide will be used. If it's illegal to use insecticide at the site,  or you or the property owner/management will not allow insecticide use, the free removal cannot be included in this program. 
  6. We reserve the right to exclude any nests, at our discretion, for the free hornet removal program. 
What we are looking for:
These are some photos of hornets and their nests. They are made of a paper-like substance that the hornets make from chewed bark & other cellulose containing materials, plus saliva. Notice the banded appearance.

Hornet Nest

Hornet Nest

Hornet Nest

Hornet (Dolichovespula)

What we are NOT looking for:

Honey Bee nests including External nests
Honey Bee
Yellow Jacket nests
Yellow Jacket Nests
Yellow Jackets
Paper Wasp Nests

Paper Wasp Nest
Paper Wasp
Mud Dauber Nest
Mud Dauber
 Again, for the free removals, we only want Hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) nests that are active. If you have any of these other nest, as shown above, we will be happy to remove them for you at a reasonable fee.

WHERE we will perform free Hornet removals:
Free Hornet Removal area

 Counties and Cities we will remove Hornets for free:

  • Marion: Ocala, Silver Springs, Reddick
  • Levy: Bronson, Cedar Key
  • Dixie: Cross City
  • Gilchrist: Trenton
  • Alachua: Gainesville, High Springs, Alachua, Waldo
  • Putnam: Palatka
  • Clay: Green Cove Springs, Orange Park
  • Bradford: Starke
  • Union: Lake Butler
  • Baker: Macclenny
  • Columbia: Lake City
  • Suwannee: Live Oak
  • Lafayette: Mayo

 We will remove hornets in other cities/towns/unincorporated areas located in the above counties.

Give us a call at 352-870-0346 , 1-800-343-5317 Or simply send us an email here, and ask us about FREE HORNET REMOVAL. We'll be happy to discuss your nest and let you know if it qualifies for this research program.


Richard Martyniak, M.Sc., Entomologist

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

91st Annual Florida State Beekeepers Annual Convention Oct 27-29 Orlando

Orange Blossom Beekeepers Association is hosting the 91st Annual Florida State Beekeepers Association Convention October 27-29, 2011. The event will be held at the Orange County Extension Offices located at 6021 S. Conway Road, Orlando, Florida.

The kick-off event will be a BBQ on Thursday October 27, beginning at 6:00 p.m., catered by Metro Catering. The BBQ will be at the Extension Offices location. The convention begins Friday the 28th at 8:30 a.m. with exciting speakers, presentations and a cooking demonstration by the 2011 Florida Honey Queen, Jayla Gillaspie.

A first ever presentation of "Queen of the Sun" will be shown in the auditorium (go to for more info about this great movie). A box/bag lunch will be provided and vegetarian sandwiches provided only if you check the appropriate box on the registration form. The cost of the convention is $25.00 per person. This includes the "Queen of the Sun" movie showing as well as the "A Day in the Bee Yard" event on Saturday.

As the "Queen of the Sun" movie is a special one-time only showing, members of the public are cordially invited to come view it. The cost for non-registered guests is $5.00 for the movie only

The Annual Banquet and auction will be held Friday night at the Holiday Inn International Airport, 5750 T.G. Lee Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32822. A "Taste of Italy" menu is planned, with vegetarian items included. Cost per person for the banquet is $40.00. The auction will include the entries from the Welsh Honey Show and Judging which will take place earlier in the day Friday. A special room rate of $81.00 will be provided. Let the reservations person know you are with FSBA when making your reservation for the special rate. call 407-851-6400 for reservations.

Read more here at Orange Blossom Beekeepers site 

We are lifetime members at Orange Blossom Beekeepers and will be performing volunteer duties to help make this a GREAT Annual Convention!

Richard Martyniak

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

But I Know these bees aren't Africanized Killer Bees !

I'm amazed at folks who insist that honey bees are always gentle, and sting only when provoked by significant provocation. While it's largely true that our managed honey bee colonies, those that we keep in our white bee hive boxes, don't sting en-masse while we work them properly, feral or wild honey bee colonies can be extremely variable in defensive response. Throw in the Africanized Honey Bee (Killer Bee) genetics that we are seeing all over Central Florida, and the defensive responses are hiking up to sometimes dangerous levels.

Maitland Honey Bee colony located in porch floor
We inspect many feral honey bee colonies per day, some gentle, some mean as fire. And then there are those that seem to have some crazies. Take this Maitland bee removal we inspected yesterday. The nest is located above the first story roof line, normally a distance where the bees would hardly notice and certainly not care about a couple humans standing down in the yard.

Right EyeLid swelling 30 minutes after Bee Sting

While talking with the client, a guard bee came down to inspect us, and the client waved her hand (note, NEVER wave your hands at bees, they think it's a provocative act, akin to throwing the handkerchief on the ground), and BAP, the rogue guard bee stung our trainee technician in his Eyelid.

Still the client insisted that there was no way that these were Africanized Killer Bees! (To be fair, we can't ID bees as killer bees or European gentle honey bees until we perform a lengthy lab test involving several dozen sample bees, so we can't say what subspecies they are or aren't either).

Right Eyelid swelling 30 minutes after bee sting

No Big deal, right? we pulled out the stinger promptly, administered anthi-histimanes and ice per protocol. The next day, this is what our tech awoke to:

Right facial swelling prox 18 hours post bee sting

Sexy, eh? While it may look scary, the swelling is actually normal, as fluids tend to accumulate during sleeping and can't properly drain. However, this is not something we encourage our staff to endure. It's our protocol to assume every feral honey bee colony has the capacity to inflict multiple stings within seconds, and that's why are to wear hats on every call...Right Jeff? :-)

 And while we may laugh this off, one sting can prove fatal to a sting-sensitive individual. We know of multiple incidents where folks have died from a single, or a few stings from bees or wasps. Couple that with the significant spike in mean Africanized Killer Bee feral colonies we see in homes, manufactured homes, trees and other locations, it's high time to take these bees serious, and to give them the respect due.

Richard Martyniak, M.Sc., Entomologist and Fla. Registered Beekeeper
The Buzzkillers, LLC

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Shoulda called the Stinging Insect Experts First!

This Jacksonville bee removal client had finally had enough with standard pest control providers. Every year, bees return to the block wall of her building, and every year her pest control operator would perform what we call a "spray & pray", just squirting some insecticide 'juice' where the bees were entering, charge her a couple hundred dollars and go on his way. The following year, bees return and the process starts anew.

After spending lots of dough, she finally searched for a true bee control expert, found us and her problem is solved.... permanently!!

Here's a pic of the site:

The red arrows are where the bees were entering, and the white outline represents the size of the nest, located within the block wall voids.. a truly mature bee nest!  We performed our DTS protocol, and saved her thousands of dollars.

Another satisfied client!

Contact us at 1-800-343-5317 or online here

Richard Martyniak, M.Sc., Entomologist
The Buzzkillers, LLC

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Need FREE Bee Removal? We are looking for HUGE Killer Bees & Yellow Jacket nests

Need FREE Bee Removal?

****** 13 JULY 2011: This offer has EXPIRED, We have filled our available free removal slots. Please stay tuned for further offers******

5 July 2011: Yep, the stinging insect scientists here at are conducting another research promotional project and are in need of a select few Killer Bee nests & Yellow Jacket nests!

The protocol requires the following conditions:

  1. Nest size must be above average, at least 6 months old and weighing in at least 50 pounds
  2. The bees have to exhibit an above average defensive posture. We prefer colonies that have already stung humans or pets and continue to sting or harass victims or potential victims.
  3. Geographical area is limited to Greater Tampa/St. Pete to Orlando to Northern Brevard County. We also will consider Orlando North to Belleview, especially around the Villages as we have been encountering extremely defensive bees this year. 
  4. We will consider Exceptional colonies in other areas of the state. Contact us at 1-800-343-5317 or  to discuss your special nest!

We will remove the colony at no charge to the client. Client must allow our personnel access to the nest site, treatment and removals, pesticide application  & documentation to occur ( photography, film, possible interviews, audio recordings as necessary).

Here are some photos of some infestations that might qualify for the protocol:

Orlando, FL: Perennial Honey Bee colony in Building Wall.
Oxford Fl. (The Villages): Africanized Honey Bees (Killer Bees) cleaning around the nest opening, which is located at the electrical penetration. Killer Bees often build nests in concrete block wall voids. These colonies can become extremely defensive and are a serious sting risk to pets and humans.

The Villages, FL: Africanized (Killer Bees) Honey Bee colony located in widow's walk above roof of 3 story structure. The Bees were very defensive, threatening public over 300 feet away. Rotting, fermenting honey was found dripping into executive offices, after a pest control application. With larger nests, one must remove the colony or problems will escalate

Tallahassee FL: Perennial Honey Bee colony in wall of rental house. This colony weighed out at over 100 pounds. Bees had been finding their way into the living area of the home and threatening sting sensitive residents. At least 2-3% of the general population are so allergic to bee venom, that one's breathing could stop within minutes..after only one sting!

West Ocala,, Marion County, Fl: Honey Bee 'External' nest constructed under eave of residential home. Residents thought this was only a swarm..a temporary group of bees.. but during removal we found substantial wax comb, indicating that the colony was at least 4-6 weeks old, old enough for a defensive manner to develop. Improper removals of these external honey bee colonies can threaten nearby pets and animals.

South Orange County (Orlando), FL: Very large, well established Africanized Honey Bee colony located between floors in an apartment building. Management company wanted us to perform a live bee relocation, but these bees were extremely defensive, posing a significant threat to residents, neighbors and pets.

Jacksonville, Fl: Typical of what we find after a cheap 'drive-by' treatment from a well meaning pest control operator. At the top is a healthy honey bee colony, probably 4-5 weeks old, busily expanding it's nest in this master bedroom wall. The dark area at the bottom is an earlier honey bee colony that was treated succesfully...and then left to ROT in this wall. A travesty that a pest control operator charged a couple hundred dollars to perform. tsk. tsk. 

Jacksonville, FL: This is a closeup of the dead, rotting, fermenting honey bee colony seen in the picture above. This organic material is decaying, aided my thousands of MAGGOTS eating, defecating, and spreading fungi and bacteria throughout the rotting mess. This is a product of CHEAP DRIVE-BY BEE TREATMENTS and could be avoided by hiring stinging insect experts such as ourselves. Leaving this mess would only attract other mean robber bees, flies, beetles and more maggots, which spread throughout the house on a quest we call the MAGGOT MARCH.
Longwood, FL: A national pest control company sprayed a client's bee colony, not once..not twice, but 5 different times to finally kill the Killer Bee Colony located in a porch portico.

Longwood, FL: Closeup of the mass of maggots, maggot feces and other organic waste found at the bottom of the infested portico porch column from the picture above.

Ponte Vedra, FL: Honey bee Colony infested a void located above a dormer window. This Plantation Golf Club house, required 2 technicians a full day to remove over 200 pounds of honey, pollen and bees from this void. A national animal trapping company had tried, unsuccessfully, to eradicate the colony and just leave it in place. Luckily for the homeowner, the bees persisted, because of the animal control technician's ineptitude.

Tampa Fl: Killer Bees infest a void above a kitchen ceiling. We are seeing a large increase in the number and ferocity of bees in the Central Florida Area. We also are seeing an increase in the number of bee removal folks that are preying on innocent homeowners, as these shysters are not licensed as pest control operators. Please, make sure your provider has the bare minimum of a PCO license in order to protect you and your assets!

Jacksonville, FL : Honey Bee colony located above a dining room ceiling. This client finally called us after 2 pest control companies failed to curb an ongoing bee infestation. He spent over $600 needlessly....

Port Orange, FL: Yet another Africanized Honey Bee (Killer Bee) infestation located above a ceiling. Bees often will build in these areas, and you certainly don't want to just leave them here.

Fernandina Beach, FL: Honey Bees in a garage wall. The local Electric Utility used wasp spray on this colony and made the surviving bees very mad. A sting incident was averted when the client called

Winter Springs, FL: The city has entomologist Richard Martyniak remove suspected Africanized Honey Bee (Killer Bee) colonies such as this bee-utiful external colony. Many cities, counties and utilities trust the entomologists at to protect their citizens, staff and clients!

****** 13 JULY 2011: This offer has EXPIRED, We have filled our available free removal slots. Please stay tuned for further offers******

    Monday, March 14, 2011

    Honey Bees in House Walls, Eaves and Columns

    It's springtime in Florida, and that means we are getting loads of calls for swarming honey bees! Swarms can be very frightening to folks who've never had experience working with honey bees, but in reality are not *usually* very much of a threat as they have no nest to defend.
    Clermont Honey Bee swarm on Tree

    A swarm occurs when a bee colony outgrows it's nesting area. This happens usually, when nectar and pollen sources from flowers become abundant, (springtime flowering), and the queen starts laying up to 2,000 eggs a day. At some point, about half the colony will leave, looking for a new location to build a new nest, while leaving the old nest to rebuild it's numbers.
    Orlando Honey Bee swarm on building wall

    This new swarm will typically land for a few hours, somewhere near the mother colony. We usually advise clients to leave the swarm alone, keep pets and people away, and the swarm will move on, without harming a thing.
    Longwood Bee Swarm on Block Wall

    But, when these swarms alight on house walls, eaves or other structural elements, it's best to give us a call for proper removal, as they often will move into wall voids, eave voids and just about anywhere else, often putting away hundreds of pounds of honey, pollen and wax withing the wall. Please do not try to self treat these swarms, as bad things can happen!
    Apopka Bee Colony in wall

    For proper honey bee swarm removal, Call us at 1-800-343-5317

    Richard Martyniak, M.Sc., Entomologist