Bees: The Good and the Bad
Bees are one of the natural world’s most beneficial inhabitants. Besides being producers of honey and beeswax, bees are perhaps the most efficient pollinators on earth, responsible for the pollination of over half of all fruit and vegetable trees. Without bees, the human diet would lack both essential nutrients and variety.
Honeybees are known as nature’s most efficient workers, with an ordered social structure that enables them to build colonies, produce honey, and sustain their population with incredible success.
With their vital role in the food chain, bees are hardly considered pests. Nonetheless, they can pose a risk to human populations. Each year, dozens of people die because of an allergic reaction to a bee sting – many without ever knowing they had such an allergy. As a result, bee colonies must be carefully controlled at a safe distance from human dwellings.
Bees sometimes build their colonies under a building’s roof and eaves, especially in attic spaces. These hives can be well concealed. Colonies may also be formed in trees and outdoor containers.
The three most common bee species found in North America are honeybees, bumblebees, and carpenter bees.
- Honeybees are smaller in size and live in colonies of up to 50,000. In the springtime, honeybees “swarm” as a new queen leaves with about half the colony’s worker bees to form a new colony.
- Bumblebees are easily recognizable for their larger bodies and yellow-and-black markings. Bumblebees form nests in wall hollows and beneath porches.
- Carpenter bees do not live in colonies but burrow into wood to lay eggs. Male carpenter bees cannot sting.
Should you worry about being stung by a bee? Yes and no. Bee stings can be deadly if there is an allergic reaction to bee venom. A severe allergic reaction may produce anaphylactic shock, with symptoms including swelling, blocking of airways, and loss of consciousness, sometimes within minutes. Because individuals often do not know they have an allergy – which can develop at any point – you should take care to avoid being stung. The good news is that bees are rarely aggressive unless they feel threatened or sense a danger to the hive.
Removing bees from a dwelling requires care, as well as protective clothing and equipment. The professionals at Greenleaf Pest Control perform safe, environmentally friendly bee removal. At Greenleaf Pest Control, our respect for the bees’ critical role in the natural order is tempered by ensuring the people are safe. We will use a variety of methods to remove the bee dwelling with minimum damage to the bee population.
If you have discovered a beehive on your property or suspect the existence of one, call the experts at Greenleaf Pest Control for assessment and safe, controlled bee removal. To schedule a consultation, call 416.998.9473 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.