In today’s media, we often hear stories of the decline of the honey bee population in our country. The media puts focus on what would happen if all of our pollinators were depleted and there were no insects left to pollinate our crops. This information spreads fear and encourages conservation of our natural resources.
Conserving our natural resources is valid and very important to the future or our planet. But when is conservation taken too far? When the fear of killing honey bees interferes with the safety of your family, pets or property.
The bee population in Arizona is abundant, we have not suffered the decline in population as much as some other states. Although a decrease in bee population is blamed on overuse of pesticides it is actually due to the increase of a fungal virus that invades the hive and destroys the colony from the inside out. The virus stories never seem to make it to mainstream media.
When it’s possible, convenient and affordable, hire a beekeeper to harvest the bees, our planet can use all the help it can get. But having a beekeeper remove them and save them is not always an option.
Sometimes it is more affordable, convenient and safe to hire a professional pest control company to take care of your bee issues.
Understanding the different types of bee sighting can be helpful in determining who you call.
Bees are either established or they are not.
If you see a bee swarm in late afternoon or evening more than likely the bees are just stopping to rest and will move on the next day. Traveling swarms can vary in size and shape, most commonly they are about the size of a football. If the location of the swarm is not putting your family in danger, give it some time to see if they leave on their own. If they hang around for more than a couple of days they are starting to establish a hive. This is the best time to call a professional, before they get established.
Foraging bees can number from a few to 100’s depending on the environment they are foraging in. If you see bees around flower gardens, blooming trees, water features etc. They are usually very docile and harmless, they are simply gathering and pollinating. If you cannot identify a hive or a swarm on your property their hive can be located up to 2 miles away.
A Bee hive is where the bees have made a home and are established. A bee hive usually comes with a good supply of honeycomb and honey. The size of the honeycomb is a great way to identify how long the bees have been established. If bees go unnoticed they can build large hives, especially if they get between walls, under roof tiles, a block wall, or in an irrigation box that has not been disturbed. All it takes is a small opening, a good moisture source and a little time for bees to build a large hive. Bee hives that go unnoticed and undisturbed for a long period of time can be very dangerous if disturbed. In some cases, these types of hives will house Africanized bees. Always take great caution when investigating a beehive on your own.
As a pest control professional, I will always encourage conservation of our environment. If it’s possible to have the bees harvested and placed on a bee farm, do it. But, don’t feel bad if there is no other choice than to destroy the hive or a swarm to keep your family pets and property safe.
Understanding the difference between swarms, foragers and hives may help you determine which professional you call.