How to kill the queen bee

Written by sarah morgan
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How to kill the queen bee
The queen bee populates the entire hive. (bees with their queen on honeycomb in a glass box image by L. Shat from

Honey bees are natives of Europe and were brought to North America by early pioneer settlers. Queen bees have a lifespan of three to five years, while worker bees only live from six weeks to nine months. Only one queen bee lives in each hive and lays up to 2,000 eggs per day. Honey bees are essential in nature because they cross-pollinate flowers. However, they are dangerous to homeowners with small children, and their hives should be removed. Kill the queen bee in any given hive to effectively interrupt the reproductive cycle of these garden pests and remove the hives safely.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Carbaryl (Sevin) --- 5 per cent dust insecticide
  • Small rag
  • Beekeeper's veil
  • Leather gloves
  • Long-sleeved shirt (in a light colour)
  • Jeans
  • Ankle-high boots

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  1. 1

    Kill the queen bee in late winter or early spring, when the total bee population is at its smallest and weakest. Spray the insecticide directly onto the beehive in the late afternoon (2 p.m to 4 p.m.), wearing your protective clothing to avoid stings. Repeat this process once a day for three or four days, to kill the majority of worker bees in the hive. The queen will remain alive, hidden deep inside the hive.

  2. 2

    Get close to the beehive and spray insecticide directly into the hole of the hive. Seal the hole of the hive with a small rag. Place a plastic bag over the hive and tie it off at the top. The insecticide will be trapped inside the hive, ensuring that it finds and kills the queen bee.

  3. 3

    Let the beehive sit in the bag for two days, allowing time for the insecticide to kill all remaining bees. Remove the beehive and throw it away, so wandering bees do not discover and settle a new colony inside your newly queen-less beehive.

Tips and warnings

  • If the queen bee has her hive in the walls of your home, you will need to locate the hive by knocking along the wall with a hammer until you hear the telltale buzzing of the hive. Next, drill a small hole next to the hive before proceeding with the extermination process.
  • Do not rush the process by attempting to spray insecticide directly into the beehive hole on the first day. This unsafe move will likely result in an angry swarm and potential stings.

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