Honey Bee

Actual Size:  1/2″

Characteristics: Golden brown and black with a 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

Honey bees often build their nests in tree crevices, but will occasionally build nests in attics or chimneys. They are most visible in summer and late spring when new queens leave their old colonies along with thousands of workers to build new nests in tree hollows or crevices. At this time, large groups of bees can be seen swarming together to find a new nesting place. It takes a swarm approximately 24 hours to locate a new nesting site. While most swarms are harmless, certain species of bees, like the Africanized honey bee, are extremely aggressive and may attack unprovoked.

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. Their 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 beehive.