Honey Bees

Characteristics: Golden brown and black with pale orange or yellow bands on their abdomen.

Habits:

  • The honey bee is the most important species of pollinators.
  • Honey bees are not typically aggressive and will only sting when provoked.
  • Visits an average of 50-100 flowers on foraging trips for pollen.

Honey Bee Habitat

The honey bee, or European honey bee, is a social insect that lives in large colonies with populations ranging from 20,000 to 80,000 individuals. Honey bees are the only social bee or wasp that has a true perennial colony, surviving year after year. The honey bee has been named the most important being on earth, due to its role as a pollinator. 70% of the world’s agriculture depends exclusively on honey bees.

Honey Bee Behavior – Threats – Dangers

Honeybees do sting, but can only sting once. Only female workers are capable of stinging, and are not likely to sting when foraging for nectar and pollen in the backyard. Bee stings generally happen when these docile bees are provoked or accidentally crushed. The stinger of the honey bee, having barbs, will remain in the skin unless physically removed. The method of removing the stinger, either grasping with fingers, tweezers or scraping from the skin, is not as important as removing the stinger as quickly as possible. Honey bee stings are quite painful and even life threatening to a small percentage of people who are allergic to the venom.

Honey Bee Prevention

Bees can enter any structure with an opening of ¼” or larger. To protect your home from unwanted bee hives, seal cracks and gaps around the home with mesh or silicone-based caulk. Reducing outdoor clutter can also prevent bees from nesting in your yard. Unused appliances or lawn equipment found in yards can attract honey bees since they provide sufficient shelter for a hive to thrive.

*If a bee swarm is sighted, the most important thing to do is leave it alone. Swarming bees will generally move on within 24 hours. While swarming honey bees are not particularly aggressive they will still sting if disturbed. Additionally, if the bees in question are Africanized honey bees, they can be extremely aggressive when swarming. Because of their aggressive nature, pest control professionals and beekeepers in the southern United States cannot successfully relocate an Africanized honey bee hive.