While bees have critical activities to perform as pollinators in gardens, orchards and farm fields, they can become a potentially dangerous nuisance when their nests are established either within the structure of human habitations or just outside a building. This is because these nesting locations increase the likelihood of encounters between people and bees.
These encounters can be problematic because bees are likely to sting people if they are disturbed when too close to their nest. Stings can be particularly dangerous when a person is allergic to them, but they also can cause problems for people who receive multiple stings.
Species such as the honey bee, bumble bee and carpenter bee are commonly found in Bensalem. It rarely is wise for property owners to attempt to remove or destroy a bees' nest without professional assistance because of the danger that this task entails. Instead, it makes sense to contact an exterminator who can eliminate the infestation with a minimum of danger.
Bees are six-legged insects with a set of extremely sensitive antenna. With their wings, they are able to fly far and wide as they forage for food.
Honey bees may only measure about half an inch when fully grown. Their body shape is slim, and they are covered with distinctive yellow-and-brown stripes.
Bumble bees may be identified by their size, with adults sometimes reaching a length of one inch. Their profiles are soft and rounded, and dense hair covers the bumble bee's body. Typically, bumble bees exhibit yellow stripes that are intermixed with either brown or black stripes.
The slenderer carpenter bee is similar in length to the bumble bee. However, they are far less hairy, and their coloration is quite different. Green, black, purple and blue all are common colors for carpenter bees. Yellow markings may be observed on their heads.
Blooming plants and trees provide bees with the sustenance that they need. Sugary nectar and pollen can be collected in abundance from blooms, but this does not mean that bees can resist the attraction of human foods.
In particular, foods that contain sugar are especially sought after by most bee species. Juice, soda, sauces, salad dressing, syrup, condiments, jam and other sweet foods are most likely to draw bees.
Honey bees prefer to build their nests in elevated locations, though they also may build a nest within wall voids in buildings. Alternatively, a hive may be suspended from a tree, a lamp post or the eaves of a building. Hives are most frequently found in close proximity to crops, orchards, gardens and fields where food is plentiful.
Sometimes also called ground bees, bumble bees usually build their nests beneath the ground's surface. Abandoned animal burrows make for likely nesting spots, but bumble bees also will take advantage of naturally occurring cavities below rocks or fallen trees. Accordingly, when bumble bees nest close to human habitations, they may be found adjacent to foundations, within a crack in a foundation or within the gap between a porch or deck and the ground.
Carpenter bees prefer to nest in wood. Outdoor furniture, decks, railings, fences and shutters all are likely locations to find a carpenter bee nesting. Additionally, carpenter bees may burrow into wood that is attached to buildings, especially if the wood is not painted or stained. The eaves of buildings, attics and basements alternatively may provide attractive nesting sites if they contain wood that is in any way damaged or rotting.
PROBLEMS WITH BEES
Bees are considered helpful and essential pollinators, but when they nest too close to or within human habitations, then they become a problem. This is because bees are known to exhibit territorial behavior, particularly when in close proximity to their nest. If people frequently are walking by the nest, then they may be faced with being "dive bombed" by buzzing insects on a regular basis. It is an unsettling experience that distresses many people.
The nests that bees construct also may become a problem. Successful nests can grow large and heavy. When they are placed inside wall voids or are hanging from structural elements, they can put a great deal of strain on these components. Moreover, when the bees abandon the nest at the end of the season, it will begin to rot, leading to significant mold and mildew concerns.
Additionally, carpenter bees have a distressing and destructive habit of boring into wooden objects around the property, which can cause permanent damage.
Bees are rarely or never observed in the winter as most colony members die off at the end of the fall. However, as spring grows warm and summer arrives, bees may make their presence known in ever-increasing numbers.
During the daylight hours, some bees are industriously focused on foraging for nectar and pollen while others take care of young or work on hive construction. People who interfere with bees during their daily work, especially when close to the nest, are likely to get stung.
Bee activity decreases as the sun sets, and most colony members return to the hive or nest. The rising of the sun the following morning will bring them out in force once again.
Most bee species are only capable of stinging once. When a non-allergic person is stung, they likely will only experience temporary symptoms such as swelling, burning, itching and redness. No medical attention generally is required for these stings.
However, even someone with no allergy may require medical attention if they are attacked by numerous bees. Suffering a multitude of stings may bring on a severe allergic reaction that potentially is life-threatening.
Individuals who have known allergies to bee stings are cautioned to be extraordinarily careful when an infestation is suspected at their home or place of work. This is because even one bee sting can be fatal to such individuals. Symptoms of a sting may include severe pain and swelling, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, chills and swelling of the throat.
SIGNS OF AN INFESTATION
Property owners may notice these signs when they are dealing with a bee infestation:
• Insects routinely spotted flying around eaves
• A nest suspended from a building or a nearby tree or lamp post
• Finding bees inside buildings
• Reports of people being dive bombed when passing by a certain location
• Several stinging incidents
Preventing bee stings and infestations may be possible with these tips:
• Keep garbage cans clean
• Use garbage cans with tight lids
• Keep blooming plants away from buildings
• Look for the signs of new bee nests on building exteriors
• Cover up or seal any holes or openings in building exteriors
• Repair all plumbing and irrigation leaks
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 Philadelphia 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.