honey bee on a flower

Introduction

Honey bees are found throughout the entire world and are of great ecological importance because they are responsible for pollinating a large numbers of flowers and crops. Honey bees derived their name from the honey they that produce from the nectar of flowers.

Recognition

Adult honey bees can grow to be ½ to 5/8th of an inch in length, with queens growing larger and they have an oval segmented body. They generally are golden-yellow in color with brown bands, though coloring can vary. Honey bees have distinctive pollen pouches on their legs, and have hair on their head and around their eyes.

Biology

Each honey bee colony has one queen that is responsible for producing all of the members of the colony. Eggs are placed in individual wax “cells”. Once they hatch workers feed the larvae with pollen and honey until they emerge 3 weeks later as adults. The diet of the larvae determines what the larvae will develop into-sterile workers, new queens, or drones (fertile males).

Honey bee colonies can have thousands of members in it, when the colony is mature the virgin queens will fly away from it and mate with drones and then return back to the colony. The new queens will then gather a swarm of workers and take them to build a new nest and start a new colony.

Female bees do have a stinger and their venom is strong enough to affect a person so much so that in some cases a severe allergic reaction could occur that would require immediate medical attention. Honey bees only have the ability to sting once. When the female stings the barbed stinger causes part of her abdomen to tear off with it leading to death soon after.

Habits

Honey bees are very social insects and live in very large colonies. They are fairly docile and will generally only sting if they are being directly threatened or handled. Honey bees nest in tree cavities, attics, wall voids, underneath of decks, or in other spots that are up off of the ground. They rarely nest on the ground. Workers collect pollen and nectar from a large variety of flowers and flowering trees and store the pollen in their leg sacs until they return to the nest. Upon return they use the nectar to create honey and use that and the pollen as a food source for the colony.

Beekeepers and many farmers build beekeeping boxes to encourage populations of bees. Most of the fruits and vegetables that people eat on a daily basis wouldn’t be here if honey bees did not pollinate them. Beekeepers also keep colonies of bees in order to produce and harvest large amount of honey for human consumption.

 

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Prevention

It can be difficult to prevent honey bees from choosing your property to nest on but there are a few things that you can to help deter them and stop them from nesting in your home. Make sure to limit the amount of flowering plants that you have located directly outside of your home, keep lids on garbage cans, and limit the amount of standing water that you have on your property. Chimney’s should have tight fitting caps on them, lose or missing roof shingles should be replaced, and holes or gaps in the foundation or exterior walls should be repaired.

Control

Because honey bees are so ecological important and have the ability to sting, only trained professionals should handle a honey bee nest. At Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions our technicians are specifically trained to properly handle and/or remove a honey bee nest. For more information about how Rottler can control honey bees on your property through our home pest control programs, please contact us today.

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