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Cutout Services

    It’s called a “cutout” because usually the colony and all their comb is not out in the open and easily accessible.
    The colony is usually entering from a small hole or opening and all the bees and comb are inside of a wall, eves or other cavity.

    It’s called a cutout because, most of the time, the wall, floor, ceiling, etc has to be cut away or disassembled so the beekeeper can get to the bees and comb.

    At Tennessee's Honey Bees we always "hive" the honeybees from our cutouts and bring them back to our apiary. That's why we call ourselves "Bee Recoverers" and not exterminators. We remove them from your structure and relocate them to our property where we manage them along with our other beehives.

    We will gather as much detail as we can over the phone and email and may need to come out for a visit to inspect the situation. We will quote you a price and we will both sign our contract (see link below) before we begin the work. Most jobs only involve one colony and can be completed in a matter of hours. We've had some cutouts that involved multiple colonies on the property and were spread out over a number of days. It all depends on the situation.


View our standard CONTRACT HERE.


    Frequently Asked Questions


If you discover that you have honeybees in a wall, eaves, or other location of your home or business a “cutout” is now necessary to remove the bees and any honeycomb they have built.

How much does the cutout service cost?

    We can provide a precise estimate if you can email us some photos of where the bees are in addition to the surrounding vicinity we will need to be in with our ladders, etc. to perform the work.

    Cutouts can range from simple and inexpensive (such as a free-hanging hive under a staircase) to complex with additional costs (such as a hive in a concrete high-rise on the 15th floor). We've had complex cutouts that cost thousands of dollars. A typical removal will take 4-8 hours and start in the neighborhood of $400 - $800 with added cost if we need to travel outside of our local area to perform the work or rent lifts or other special equipment. We put this pricing info on our site for educational purposes so our client's expectations are in the right ballpark when they are educating themselves on what is entailed. Every job is different and we provide all our quotes on a job-by-job basis.

    We like to quote a firm price and stick to it. If the job takes a little longer than expected we just absorb that and do not like to pass along any further cost to our customer. We understand having a honeybee colony show up is enough of a surprise already!

    On rare occasion extenuating or unusual circumstances may arise that require considerably more time or cost than expected. Any changes to the original quote will be discussed with the customer and agreed upon before continuing.

Will the bees leave on their own eventually?

    Not likely. Once they have got their comb drawn out and they are actively rearing brood and storing up honey they have no reason to “abscond” or leave on their own. They don’t even realize they are not exactly welcome in your home!

Where to find a local professional beekeeper who performs cutouts?

    If you live in South Carolina (upstate and surrounding area) you can contact us. We do professional work and at a very reasonable rate (see a sample contract linked above).

Can I just spray them and kill them or block up their entrance?

Here are several reasons why this will certainly not be cheaper for you.

Blocking up their entrance or a can of insecticide is far cheaper than hiring a keeper to perform a cutout. I hate that I even mentioned this and potentially put the idea in someone’s head. But I bring it up because killing off the honeybee colony is a bad idea and will cause you more problems and expense than you can imagine. Let me just lay it out for you in a very candid way:

    1. The bees will avoid the poisoned or blocked entrance and WILL look for another way out and it may lead  them to the interior of your home/business. If you didn't like the bees flying around outside you certainly won't want them flying around inside.

    2. If they do die inside the wall you will have several thousand rotting decomposing bees and the brood (developing larval bees in the comb)  will die and decompose as well. The wax comb will no longer be maintained by the bees and it will start releasing the honey/water/nectar which will ferment. It will begin to soak and seep through the wall/ceiling and will drip down the drywall onto the floor/carpet. While all this is going on you can expect rats/mice possibly fly maggots, ants and roaches. The rotting mess will rot boards as well.

    3. The situation is now out of control and the damage is spreading. Eventually you will have to hire someone to rip out the wall/ceiling/roof to clean up the mess and make repairs. Plus you may need to call an exterminator for the ants/mice/rats,roaches.

    4. Seems much cheaper and friendlier to hire a keeper to do a proper cutout in the first place.

So what's so important about one little colony?


    Feral honeybees (the natural wild colonies like the one in your structure) have locally adapted genetics that make them especially resilient to the types of diseases found in our geographic area. Protecting these unique genetics is important for our locally grown produce. In fact, several of our customers have remarked how their flowers have been in bloom like never before ever since the honeybees came to their property. We've been able to convince a few of our potential clients with honeybees high up in a tree to let them stay there and provide benefit to their property. Fortunately most folks we encounter understand the value of the honeybee and one of their main concerns is to make sure that we will remove and relocate rather than simply exterminate the colony. It's encouraging to know that most people are interested in the wellbeing of honeybees.

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