For beekeepers, the swarming of bees is definitely a blessing but for the ordinary citizens who know nothing about beekeeping, a bee swarm is a curse; and when they see plenty of them in their residence, they often resort on ways on how to get rid of bees.
The swarm is even more dangerous if these bees are the widely known Africanized bees. This is because these kinds of bees are capable of killing a person.
This is actually one of the common concerns in some communities. There are reports that there are cases wherein the victim of the bee attack is killed because of the sting.
When it comes to the behavior of bees, you should know that bees are not actually hostile insects. They show aggression only when disturbed. This is because they think of moving towards their hive as a threat.
So naturally, they are going to protect their house by taking the initiative to attack the moving object that for them brings danger.
When bees attack you in hundreds while you are not wearing any protective suits, do your best to get away from the hive or swarm as much as possible. There are victims of bees that died due to bee stings.
If you are among those people who have little knowledge about beekeeping and you happen to stumble upon a group of bees bustling around with a very disturbing noise, this is a bee swarm that you should avoid. As much as possible, just run away from the bee swarm.
Don’t try to approach the bee swarm by spraying the bees with liquid or shelling poison as this is not effective to remove them.
Instead, you will only be faced up with the worst-case scenario particularly when they caught you without wearing any protective coverings. The best option is to run away or stay at a far distance from the beehive.
However, if the bee swarm seems to settle in your backyard, just wait without disturbing them until they are going to move to another location. But if there are little children, better to call for professional assistance.
However, before calling any professional assistance, you must determine first if the bee swarm is a group of honey bees or Africanized bees.
This will provide information for the bee removal team to bring the appropriate materials to be used.
Also, describe the location of the bees and how long the bee swarm has been settling in that area. If you know someone in your area who is engaged in beekeeping, you can also call his attention to help you with your problem.
In actuality, a bee swarm is not a real threat to individuals. They only attack when their hives are being disturbed. This is simply their way of defending themselves and protecting their hives from the intruders.
So if there is any moving object going near to their hives, which are usually humans, guard bees are ready to die in an attempt to protect their house for the danger that they sense.
These types of wasps are also known as digger wasps or sand wasps. Most people associate wasps with nests hanging off the roof and in the trees and rightly so. This is where the majority of wasps tend to make their home. But some species have an affinity for ground dwelling and these are known as the ground wasps.
Are they aggressive?
The ground wasps come in different species. Some are not typically aggressive towards human beings like the cicada killing wasps unlike their high dwelling cousins who are more prone to attacking people. Other species like the yellow jackets, however, likely to sting you if you come close to their dwelling. Ground wasps are also excellent at getting rid of pest insects and caterpillars that are a major problem in gardens where people are growing different types of crops. If you are an avid gardener you will most likely find yourself grateful for the presence of ground wasps nearby.
Solitary or social ground wasps
Ground wasps are categorized as either social or solitary species. The social ground wasps are part of larger colony ad behave much like bees, they have a queen whom they will protect at all costs. These are the species that can get aggressive the minute they see you coming close to them. The queen will direct the worker wasps. Yellow jackets are social wasps. Interestingly, the yellow jackets exist as ground nesting wasps and they are also have a species that lives in the trees.
The solitary ground wasp is more concerned with finding its own food and feeding its own larvae. It will build a solo nest and when its life cycle is done it will die in the nest and not vacate it like the social ground wasps vacate theirs. The eastern cicada killing wasps and the great golden digger wasps are solitary wasps.
The great golden digger wasp is orange and black in color. They are one inch in length and prefer to excavate in the sandy soil so you most likely find them near flag stone or patio stone. The eastern cicada killer wasp is big in size with a length of 1.5 inches. It is a mixture of yellow, orange and black, the wings are orange and abdomen in black with yellow. Their females are the ones that dig the burrows in order to be able to stash their eggs in there. They can dig burrows up to 10 inches into the ground.
The ground nesting yellow jackets can be found in over 30 states in the United States so their habitats can be very varied. When they are not able to burrow underground they comfortably establish their nests above.
How long do bees live
The bee species is broken into three caste systems. The smallest member of the caste system is the worker bee and it has the majority numbers in the colony. The queen is one and the rest of the hive is made of the male drone who live to mate.
The bee life expectancy in active season
The honey bee is a social creature and because they all look so similar with the exception of the queen, it can be difficult to notice when one dies off. Male drones die off first and have the shortest life expectancy. It takes about 24 days for the male drone to go from being an egg to becoming an adult. It will typically live for a total 55 days.
The worker bees live a busy life for between 120 to 150 days. Typically during their busy season they will live for only about five to six weeks since they tend to end up as the next meal for predators. They also die of when they sting which considerably shortens their life span.
The queen bee has the longest life span of all the bees in the colony. They can live for two to three years and in that duration they will lay as many as 1000 to 6000 eggs a day. She has a stinger as well which she uses mostly to defend herself against other members of her caste only. She will also sting intruders if the colony is breached.
The bee life expectancy in overwintering season
During this season the male can live up to 90 days and the female worker bees are able to go for even four or five months. This is because they are sequestered and away from potential harm. Plus their typical predators are also hibernating and not hunting them down. The queen bee can add another year to its life because of the over wintering season.
Worker bees are likely to work themselves to death. In fact that is the leading cause of their death. Male drones naturally die off after mating because their purpose is done. The queen bee is actually killed off by the worker bees in the colony when a new queen emerges. They kill her by balling her which is the act of overcrowding her until she becomes overheated and dies from the heat.
Although the death of the old queen can cause an upset in the colony the bees quickly organize themselves around a new queen and the colony is returned to order.
How to get rid of wasp nests
The wasp’s nest is an ingenious structure made form chewed wood and the saliva of the wasp and hanged strategically in an undisturbed spot on the roof of your structure. It looks like a series of mini opened umbrellas which has also earned. Sometimes when you look at the nests in the spring time you can see the queen wasp’s eggs dangling off the openings of the nest.
When do you see wasp nest?
The wasps start to appear in the warmer months as they look for food after the over wintering period. With them come their nests that dot the roofing and these insects are extremely aggressive making it hard to co-exist with them. The wasp will sting you if they perceive you as a threat. For example, moving close to their nest, even unwittingly, will result in a sting. Plus these insects can repeatedly sting.
How to get rid of wasp nests
Professionals highly advice that you do not try to remove the wasp nest on your own. But if you are a DIY enthusiast who believes they can handle the situation on their own we advice taking the following steps when getting rid of wasp nests.
Wear safety equipment from protective clothing to respiratory protective equipment. This will protect you from wasp stings. Also make sure that you know their behaviors and threat levels especially if you are allergic to their stings. For an effective extermination program make sure that you use professional products.
Remove the nest at night when the wasps are more docile. Remove the nest by covering it with a garbage bag and closing the bag sealing the wasps and their nest inside. Take the sealed bag far away from the house and keep it sealed. Always remove nests that are closer to your reach and not those that are in hard to reach place.
What not to do when getting rid of wasp nests
Do not smoke the wasp
Using smoke will only aggravate the wasp and cause the wasps to attack. Plus smoke involves fire which is a dangerous substance to work with around your roof or house in general.
Do not use water
Water also causes damage to your property not to mention aggravating the wasps and making them sting you.
Do not hit the nest
The wasp nest should be removed gently so as not to disturb the wasps. Hitting their nest only angers them and they come out ready to attack.
How to treat a wasp sting
The feeling of being stung by a wasp is burning and sharp at the site of the sting. Some people experience a radiating heat coming from the sting site which can last for a few hours depending on how many times you have been sting. The wasp can sting several times because it doesn’t lose its sting upon stinging its victim like the bee. The pain may peek in a few hours or it can continue in 48 hours or whenever the site is disturbed. Even small actions like changing your clothes or taking a shower can aggravate the site and resurrect the pain again for a couple days after the fact.
Symptoms of a wasp sting
You will experience redness on the bite site which can spread into the skin around the area. You will also have pain for a few days which can be localized or it may spread to the limb where the sting occurred. Larger reactions can include having swelling in areas that were not even stung like the eye lids and the lips. But if the symptoms get progressively worse in the hours following the sting you may be allergic to the sting and this can easily morph into anaphylactic shock. In this case you will see more severe symptoms including:
- Profuse sweating
- Difficulty breathing
- Elevated or lowered blood pressure
- Extreme swelling
These types of extreme reactions tend to occur mostly in sting in children and elderly people. It is crucial to take them to hospital if they are stung especially when they experience multiple stings. But if you don’t have an adverse reaction to wasp sting here is how you can treat a wasp sting
Treating a wasp sting
Wash the sting area with soap and water to remove the venom from the site. Next apply a cold compress or an ice pack to calm the place down. You can also put comes calamine lotion to help soothe the inflammation. You should also have some hydrocortisone cream nearby to help keep the swelling and inflammation down.
The pain from the sting can be radiating and wasps are known for their love of stinging areas around the head. It is very hard for the wasp to sting your leg because they attack from above. So you can take some over the counter medicine to help alleviate the pain. Some people prefer to put a bandage on the site in order to keep infections of the sting site.
The queen wasp is the head honcho in any wasp colony. In fact, we can confidently conclude that she is the reason any of the other wasps are there in the first place. After all she gave birth to them all. Extermination experts will tell you that killing off the queen wasp at the right time can be the key to getting rid of the wasp colony. But that is easier said than done.
How do you find the queen wasp?
To find it you need to be able to identify it from all the other members of the colony. You know wasps can all look alike but the queen wasp is noticeably larger than the other wasps in her colony. She can be about a quarter inch larger in size. But the most distinctive feature in the queen wasp is her pointed abdomen which has her stinger. The presence of the stinger makes her look like she has a narrower waist than other wasps.
Her stinger is not any more potent than that of the other wasps but because it is larger it can cause a significantly more painful sting wound. They can also tend to be more brightly colored than the rest of the colony members.
Role of the queen wasp
The queen wasp is solely dedicated to the propagation of more wasps in order to keep her lineage and colony alive. She gives birth to the worker wasps that protect the colony and find food for the larvae. She also gives birth to the males that mate with other females to form new queens who start new colonies after the over wintering season.
She has a life expectancy of 12 months on average which is enough time to hatch several batches of eggs and continue the life span of her colony. She can lay up to 100 eggs per day producing 1500 new queens in her lifetime. Did you know that a wasp colony can have over 20,000 members? This is the reason why DIY wasp nest removal is discouraged by extermination experts. The risk of being stung and hurt very badly is very high with these numbers of wasps. In every nest there is always one queen wasp that is protected by other members of the colony.
How do queen wasps die?
The queen wasp and her colony thrive in the colder months because these over wintering months are conducive for mating, finding food and keeping safe by hibernation. But in the warm months the wasps find no nectar in the followers to feed on which leads to starvation. In fact, queen wasps die off because of starvation mostly.
The depictions of bees that we are accustomed to are small cute but ferocious little creatures that are always busy buzzing around. It may be possible that you may never have heard of the big bee. That’s okay. Here is a breakdown of this exception to the rule in the bee world.
The world’s largest bee is known as the Wallace bee. It was thought to have become extinct with the last sighting in 1981. But in 2019, it resurfaced in Indonesia’s forests and true to form its larger size is clearly discernable just at a glance. To put its size into perspective, scientists describe this bee to be as large as walnut with a wingspan almost the length of a credit card. The length of the body is 4cm which is roughly 1.4 inches long. It is known by the scientific name of Megachile Pluto.
Where do they live?
The Megachilepluto females make their home in empty termite nests so they are more grounded that found in the trees. But they don’t just happen on the empty termite nests. They have formidable jaws which they use to burrow into the nest of the termites and chase them out. Once inside they line the tunnels in the nest with sticky resin collected form the trees nearby to keep off the termites and prevent others from entering the new nest.
The anatomy of the big bee
Like their smaller cousins the big bee has a hard exoskeleton which protects it. it also has the head, thorax and abdomen with the abdomen equipped with a giant sized stinger. Apart from the characteristic parts of a bee’s body this particular species of bees has enormous jaws which they wield threateningly when they come under attack. It also uses the jaws to collect the resin and wood to use in the nest.
The reproductive cycle of the big bee
Big bees are holometabolous insects meaning they go through four stages in their life cycle. The first stage is the egg which is laid by the female. It progresses into a larvae then pupae and then an adult. You can differentiate the Wallace bee and other bees that are generally considered big bees like the bumble bee. Not only is the Wallace bee distinctly black in color without the golden coloring that distinguishes bees it also has massive jaws. Also it is not found in colonies like the other bees. This is a loner species with a solitary lifestyle.
Black and White bee
Most people you will ask will tell you they know of any one type of bee. The yellow and black bees that get an almost golden, honey like hue when the sunlight strikes their exoskeleton. These types of bees include the Africanized honey bee, bumble bee and carpenter bees. They may have nuanced differences in how they created but at first sight they are easily recognizable because of their characteristic yellow stripes on the abdomen.
Black and white bees must be an anomaly, right? No. They exist and they do not have some sort of mutation gene. They have been there right alongside the yellow and black species since time in memorial. In fact, when you look at the bee species there are quite a number of bees that feature interesting colors and nuances. Take for example the mason bee that has metallic blue/green colors merged into its dark body or the completely black Wallace bee, the giant bee species. These clearly show there is more color and pomp to bees than just the usual yellow and black.
The black and white bees
The black and white bees are also known as leaf cutter bees. They derive their name from the black and white hairs they feature on their thorax and that also appear at the bottom of their abdomens. These bees are distinct because of their large heads and equally massive jaws that they use to cut off pieces of leave used to seal off their nests.
The role of the black and white bee is to cross pollinate plants and they are excellent at their job. They will carry the pollen on their abdomen instead of on the back like you notice with the bumble bees. To be efficient at their role they have to be extremely fast. They are very similar in characteristics and mannerisms and even anatomy to the mason bees.
These bees are frequent visitors to bee hotels which have been set up by environment conscious gardeners. Most commercial growers prefer to use black and white bees to pollinate their crops especially carrots, blue berries, alfalfa and onions among other plant. These bees are actually quite harmless to human being and their benefits to your environment are enormous. For this reasons you may not have to worry too much about having them buzzing around your outdoors. Their only downside is the cutting of leaves which may minimize the aesthetics of your plants with time. Most people looking to get rid of them prefer to set up a bee hotel further away from their crops and plants to lure the bees away.
If you get a large infestation, it is better to be safe than sorry so call a pest control expert who will be able to identify the insect and perform necessary methods on how to keep bees away.
Many people run and hide or swat above their heads the moment they hear a buzzing without even checking what it is. There is a range of insects that buzz and the majority aren’t harmful at all.
Also, many people get confused with the difference between bees and wasps and can end up killing bees that contribute to our eco-system or that belong to someone else.
There are several varieties of bees but most people are more familiar with the Bumble Bee. This is a large round bee like the type that is often depicted in children’s cartoons.
These bees can sting however they are unlikely to unless defending themselves. They generally go about their own business pollinating flowers.
You should contact a professional bee removal company if:
- You or someone in your household is allergic to bees.
- You have a very large bee’s nest that needs to be removed.
- You have several nests that need to be exterminated.
- The bees have built a nest inside your home.
- You are too frightened to remove the bees on your own.
- You are uncertain of where the nest or nests are located.
- The nest or nests are located in an area that is difficult to reach or is in a high location.
There is also a bee known as the Mining or Mortar bee. These bees do not swarm and actually tend to live alone. Mining bees are the first out in the year appearing as early as April depending on the weather.
These bees are very large, larger than a honey bee, and can be confused with a wasp. In order to stop mining bees from breeding in your home, you should identify where the nest is – it won’t be huge like a wasps nest – and close up the hole.
However, the honey bee is often mistaken to be a wasp. Honey bees are the type that is kept by beekeepers in hives.
They are much less like a bumblebee as they are thinner in shape. They fly around in swarms and can often get lost from their hives and end up in someone’s loft or house.
You should not harm these bees at all but instead, you should contact a pest controller. If you do tackle them and kill any, you can be taken to court and even end up with a custodial sentence.
Because of the link between bees and our ecosystem, we do advise against killing any bee.
There was a severe drop in the number of bees around in the last few years and if they die out, our ecosystem may be very badly affected.
By hiring a professional company to assist with getting rid of bees, you can eliminate the risk of getting stung or otherwise hurt in the bee removal process.
It is important to note that bees can become highly aggressive during the elimination process and that some species of bees are more aggressive than others.
When you have bugs in your house, you often feel helpless. Whether you have roaches, spiders, ants or some types of bees and wasps, you often don’t know where they’re coming from and you really don’t know how to get rid of them.
Whenever you see a buzzing insect with a yellow and black body darting around your house or near a flower patch, you probably assume they are bees.
Some bees are almost identical to the naked eye, but on closer inspection, you may notice that the bugs are wasps (also called yellow jackets). The difference between types of bees can be a minute as the creatures flying patterns or the look of their abdomen.
Wasps are similar to honey bees, but they present a different set of challenges in trying to get rid of them. With a few facts, you will be able to accurately identify a European Honey Bee from their aggressive cousins, the Africanized Honey Bee.
The two types of wasps that are most commonly seen in San Diego and southwest Riverside counties are paper wasps and mud daubers.
Although they are generally not aggressive unless they are provoked or otherwise disturbed, These flying pests will build small nests made of mud on the sides of homes and other structures, which can be unsightly and messy to clean up and remove. Wasps also can swarm and inflict painful stings on people.
Wasps can appear similar to honeybees, but they have longer and more slender bodies. The easiest way to identify wasps is by seeing their nests on the bottom side of the eaves, soffits, and other unprotected areas of structures.
A wasp nest looks like a ball of mud tucked up underneath the eve. Mud daubers will attach mud nests to the sides of homes or inside wall voids while hornets may be found burrowing in soft soil.
When getting rid of a paper wasp nest, it is important to kill all of the adult wasps. Otherwise, the remaining wasps will quickly rebuild the nest and remain a problem.
Both species are capable of stinging multiple times and can emit a type of distress call if they feel the hive is endangered. When this happens it is likely that the entire hive will attack in unison and multiple stings can be dangerous to those even without allergies. For this reason alone, it is recommended that large infestations are best handled by a professional with the experience and resources to destroy the colony with limited risk.
Look for Quality Pro certification from the National Pest Management Association.
If a pest control company is QualityPro certified, this means they are one of the best professionals in the area and are committed to high-quality service and professionalism when it comes to bee and wasp removal in your home.