Bees are a common pest in Warminster. Species such as the carpenter bee, honeybee and bumble bee are most frequently reported in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Having professional bee control service performed will enable home and business owners to enjoy outdoor areas without the fear and inconvenience associated with bee infestations.
Bees are hairy, have antennae and six legs. However, this is where the similarities end.
• The carpenter bee is between 12 and 25 mm long. Their coloration can range from all black to metallic blue. It is not unusual to see males with yellow on their faces. Carpenter bees may be differentiated from the similarly sized bumble bee because their abdomens do not have visible hairs on top.
• Bumblebees are fuzzier than carpenter bees, and are commonly black and yellow. Adults can grow to one inch in length. A structure called a pollen basket is found on their hind legs. The gender of the bumblebee is determined by their abdomen, as female abdomens are pointed while male abdomens are rounded. Additionally, the female has a stinger while the male does not.
• The honey bee sets itself apart from other bee species because it produces honey. This species is also smaller than bumblebees and carpenter bees. With a greater number of stripes than the other species, the honey bee is easy to identify. Moreover, the honey bee's stinger has barbs, which means that it can only sting once.
Most bee species, including the ones that are common to Warminster and much of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, feed mainly on plant pollen and nectar. While these substances may be consumed immediately, bees may also bring food back to the nest to store for later or to use for feeding young.
Some bee species, like the carpenter bee, spend their time alone. Other species, like the bumblebee and the honey bee, are social and live in colonies. The solitary nature of the carpenter bee ensures that it does not reproduce as quickly or as prolifically as more social species.
Carpenter bees live in nests that are excavated from wood. They may line in shingles, siding, fences, decks, windowsills, doors and eaves. Excessive boring into the wood of a structure causes significant damage.
The bumblebee is more likely to build their nest in the ground, though it is not uncommon to see nests around decks or patios. Honey bee nests are frequently found in trees, but when they can gain access, they will build their homes in attics or chimneys. Unlike other bee species, the honey bee colony can survive for years.
PROBLEMS WITH BEES
Carpenter bees cause severe structural damage because of their tendency to bore into wood. While the male may appear aggressive, he does not have a stinger. The female does, but it is extremely unlikely to use it.
The problem posed by bumblebees and honey bees is their tendency to sting. Honey bees can only sting once. Still, this can be painful, especially if the stinger is not immediately removed. The bumblebee's sting is among the more painful of all the bee species. Additionally, this bee is known to chase people when they feel threatened. They can sting multiple times.
Male carpenter bees are territorial. That is why they are frequently spotted hoovering around nests. Darting at anyone that gets too close is all bark and no bite for the male carpenter bee because he does not have a stinger. The female does, but she rarely stings. In fact, handling the female carpenter bee is about the only way to provoke her to sting. Carpenter bees expend most of their energy drilling into wood, which provides them with shelter and a place to raise young.
Bumblebees begin new nests every year, and they tend to build them near the ground. An impregnated queen survives the cold months to build a nest in the spring, laying her eggs and feeding her young. The first generation is workers that gather pollen and nectar. Later in the season, reproductive bumblebees will emerge. Male reproductives are seen outside of the nest, waiting for reproductive females. Bumblebees are not aggressive, and will only sting when they perceive a threat.
Honey bees are most active in the spring when they collect pollen and nectar to produce honey. They may go on the defensive when they believe their nest is compromised. Although they can only attack once, their sting emits a pheromone that can attract other bees, which may result in multiple stings.
People who are stung by a bee may experience sharp, burning pain as well as swelling and redness. The symptoms are not serious. However, some people have a severe allergic reaction that can include hives, breathing problems, nausea, dizziness and loss of consciousness. These symptoms should be reviewed by a doctor.
SIGNS OF AN INFESTATION
Home and business owners may have a bee infestation based on the following signs:
• An unusual number of sightings
• Multiple stinging incidents
• Nest spotted in attics, under eaves, in trees or on the ground
• Buzzing sounds inside walls may indicate carpenter bees
Property owners can protect friends, family and customers using these measures:
• Remove bee nests early in the season
• Keep sweet foods indoors or covered
• Clean trash cans to remove sweet odors
• Treat or paint all outdoor wood surfaces to make them less attractive to carpenter bees
A professional pest control provider has the knowledge, skill, products, and equipment necessary for eliminating bee problems.