Most people are unconcerned when they see bumble bees or honey bees buzzing around their gardens. In fact, bees are prolific pollinators that help to sustain crops and gardens. However, bees can become a nuisance or even a hazard when they build a nest too close to human habitations. The problems multiply when the nest is located somewhere inside a building.
In addition to bumble bees and honey bees, carpenter bees are a frequent pest in Bensalem. They are the greater threat when compared with other bee species because, in addition to the female's sting, the carpenter bee has a destructive habit of boring into wood. This can leave the structure vulnerable to the elements. When bee control becomes necessary, occasional garden visitor, it is usually best to seek the services of an experienced pest control service.
All members of the bee species are insects. Accordingly, they are equipped with six legs, and they also have wings. Carpenter bees and bumble bees frequently are mistaken for each other. This is because they are of a similar size at about one inch in length. Yellow and black coloring is common for both bees. The easiest way to distinguish between the two species is to look for hair. Bumble bees are covered with it while the carpenter bee is essentially hairless.
On average, honey bees are about half the size of bumble bees and carpenter bees. Their bodies feature yellow and brown stripes, and the amount of hair that they typically exhibit is somewhere between the hairy bumble bee and the hairless carpenter bee.
Bees spend the majority of their time seeking food for themselves and other members of their colony. Mainly, they collect pollen and nectar from blooming plants and trees. Both substances may be directly consumed, but some of the nectar is transported back to the nest to make honey. This honey is another staple food of many bee diets.
Any human foods that contain sugar or other sweeteners undoubtedly appeal to bees. In addition to fruits and vegetables, bees may be spotted hovering over meats that are covered in sauce or salads that have dressing. Juices, sodas, syrups, jams, candies, cakes and pies are other examples of foods that may attract bees.
Carpenter bees have unusual nesting habits when compared with other species. This is because they prefer to bore into wood. In nature, they may bore into living or dead trees. A wood or debris pile similarly may appear welcoming. However, carpenter bees also bore into homes, sheds, garages, fences and decks. This tunneling may weaken the structure if it is extensive, and it will certainly expose the wood to destructive elements.
Bumble bees are attracted to underground shelter. A hollow beneath a fallen tree or the unoccupied burrow of an animal make ideal nesting sites. Closer to human habitations, the bumble bee may place a nest in a woodpile, beneath a porch or beneath a stepping stone in the garden. This nesting habit is what gives the bumble bee its nickname, "ground bee."
Honey bees are more likely to look for an elevated location to place their nest, which will feature orderly, hexagonal cells. Trees and utility poles frequently are used, but some honey bees will build a nest in a wall cavity in a manmade structure or in the top corner of a porch. Under the eaves of a building is another likely nesting location.
PROBLEMS WITH BEES
The majority of bee species can only sting once, and the male carpenter bee is unable to sting at all. Nonetheless, the fear of being stung is pervasive for many people. To avoid a negative encounter, people will stay indoors when they would otherwise prefer to be outside.
Bees also cause issues when they build nests inside or too close to buildings. This proximity leads to more encounters between people and bees, multiplying the opportunities for a stinging incident. Moreover, having a bee colony nesting in a wall void, basement, an attic or another area in the building may cause structural damage. This is especially true when the colony abandons the nest at the end of the season. The remaining honey and the structure of the nest itself soon begin to rot, leading to problems with moisture that may cause mold and mildew. Costly repairs may be necessary if the nest is not promptly removed.
Bees are diurnal creatures that are rarely seen after twilight and before dawn. Spring, summer and fall are the most active times of the year for them. Many species die as the weather cools in the fall, leaving behind a queen to begin a new colony the next year.
Some bee species are quite territorial, becoming aggressive whenever a person comes too close to their nest. However, those same bees may seem quite docile when encountered elsewhere. Most stinging attacks occur when the bee feels threatened.
A bee sting is little cause for concern to most people. A few hours or a day or two of a bit of pain or itchiness may be the worst that can be expected. However, a small portion of the population is susceptible to a severe allergic reaction. Dizziness, nausea, vomiting, chills and extreme swelling all may ensue. This swelling may affect the throat, making it difficult to breathe. Medical intervention is required in this situation.
SIGNS OF AN INFESTATION
Indications of a bee issue include the following:
• Hearing buzzing or rustling sounds while inside • Seeing bees clustered around a crack or crevice on a building exterior • Early signs of a bee nest hanging from the eaves • Reports of multiple stings in the area
To help protect against bee problems the following steps should be taken:
• Conduct regular inspections of the property to check for signs of new nests • Seal cracks or crevices with caulk • Replace rotting wood • Place screens on windows and doors • Keep garbage cans clean • Do not allow people or pet food to sit out for extended periods • Fix plumbing leaks as soon as they are discovered
For effective treatment of a bee issue, rely on a licensed pest control service to identify, locate, and properly treat all of the bees and beehives on the property.
SafeGuard Pest Control has been providing bee treatment for their Bensalem clients for over 20 years. With decades of experience in the business, you can count on SafeGuard to safely and effectively treat any type of bee problem.