Honeybees are a pest that every homeowner should be aware of. If you have a colony of honeybees taking shelter in your home, it is not an issue that can be ignored. Below are some common questions that we’ve had client’s ask us:
Why Do Bees Start Hives in Homes?
Honeybees are one of America’s most beloved insect. In addition to their undeniably adorable looks, they are responsible for pollinating critical food crops, trees, wildflowers, and home gardens. Unfortunately, both feral and domestic honeybees feel the urge to swarm every spring when the single hive gets crowded with too many bees and resources.
Although the ideal location for a new hive would be a hollow tree or rock crevice, many of these swarms of bees will decide to set up shop in an attic or even within the walls of a home.
What is the Difference Between a Swarm and a Colony?
Many people confuse a honeybee swarm and a colony, but for the diligent homeowner, these can mean tremendously different things.
A swarm is simply a cluster of bees, often many thousands, in a massive ball hanging from a tree, bush, or even the side of a house. Nestled inside this ball is the queen, and together they wait for the scouts to come back with news of a prime location to call home. Seeing a swarm might be frightening, but often times this cluster will fly away after a few hours and never be seen again.
A colony is a group of bees that have already established a hive, and are laying eggs, bringing in nectar and pollen, and building comb. Having a colony in a home is a serious issue that needs addressing, as these bees will not leave unless manually removed.
Why is Professional Intervention Needed?
Although honeybees are gentle insects, they have the capability to sting, and will not hesitate to do so when they feel there is a threat to their colony.
Once a colony is disturbed, the bees communicate using alarm pheromones and one sting can become fifty in a matter of seconds. Without the proper protective equipment, this could lead to an allergic reaction that could potentially be serious for some people, and sometimes even fatal depending on how allergic the person is. Additionally, removing the bees and comb will do little to deter the colony if the queen is not captured and removed, as the bees will simply return and rebuild.