Honey Bee Control: Protect Your Home or Business
- Honey bees are social insects that live in colonies with one queen, a few hundred male drones, and several thousand female workers.
- Honey bees stay active while hidden inside their hives in the winter. The bees form a cluster with the queen in the center and vibrate their wing muscles to keep the nest warm.
- A colony’s population depends on the season and food availability. Groups can expand to over 80,000 bees.
A honey bee’s body is under an inch long, orange-brown in color, and covered in fine, downy hair. Queens have long abdomens and curved stingers, but their wings only cover two-thirds of their bodies. Drones are the largest in the colony, but they have no stingers. Workers are the smallest in size.
How Do Honey Bees Get Inside Buildings?
As temperatures rise over spring and summer, swarms of honey bees leave the hive to start a new colony. They prefer to nest in enclosed spaces high above the ground. Common sites include wall voids, attics, areas under gutters, or inside chimneys. Small cracks or open doors and windows provide easy access to bees looking for a home.
These insects feed on their stored honey, which they produce through pollination. Businesses like nurseries, garden centers, and other places with flowering plants might have issues with honey bees. Though pollination is healthy for plants, bees often make upkeep and care difficult for gardeners and greenhouse employees.
Signs of Honey Bee Infestation
- Nests – Hives with honeycomb surfaces shielded by bees indicates an active infestation.
- Swarms – Swarms on the side of your house or a garage door might be a colony attempting to make part of your property their new home.
- Presence of a Queen – Spotting a honey bee queen indoors often means there’s a hive forming inside.
- Buzzing and Other Activity – Hearing a dull hum in the walls or seeing bees crawl into cracks in the floor signals a hidden nest.
Problems Caused by Honey Bees
Honey bees sting to protect themselves and their hive. The insect’s barbed stinger hooks into the skin, separating it from the bee, which dies instantly. The stinger will continue to release venom until you remove it. Allergic reactions beyond minor swelling and itching require an immediate trip to the emergency room.
The threat of a painful honey bee sting on its own may frighten patrons or guests, but someone who is severely allergic is in real danger. Having the pests around your building is a hazard for your customers. Removing the bees and leaving the nest can also result in wax and honey melting and seeping into insulation or other structural materials, attracting more insects as well as rodents.
To prevent the pests from entering your home or business, keep windows and doors closed and seal any crevices in walls or along roofs. Getting rid of honey bees safely is extremely difficult without the proper equipment. Contact Western Pest Services to help you with a honey bee infestation.