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Bumble Bees

Bumblebees are typically the second most recognizable of the North American bees after honey bees. These are some of the largest extant bee species in the world. They are very round and fuzzy in appearance. Depending on the subspecies, their colors range from yellow to orange, bright red and even blue.

Like honey bees, bumblebees feed on nectar from flowers and are very important pollinators. Because their wings move so fast, they cause what is known as buzz pollination for some plants, knocking tightly packed pollen from them and allowing the wind to spread it. Some plants require this type of pollination and their entire survival is due to creatures like bumble bees. For example New Zealand’s red clover population was entirely restored by importing bumble bees from Europe. Bumblebees have also gained favor for use in agricultural operations. Tomatoes, for example, benefit immensely from bumblebee pollination, with up to 50 colonies per hectare being used to increase crop yields.

Bumblebees are eusocial bees and therefor live in colonies, although they have much smaller than groups than honey bees with some species topping out at around 400 bees per queen. Their nests are typically built low to the ground, but not always. Mulch piles, inside of trees and walls, the eaves of a home, on the ground under thick grass or brush, or the soffits of attics. Bumblebees also differ from honey bees in that their nests are not formed in hexagonal patterns. A Bumblebee nest will look like a random assortment of waxy spheres, typically light golden brown in color.

Unlike honey bees bumblebees do not stay active during the winter. While honey bees collect and store nectar as honey to be eaten during the winter when there is less food available, a bumblebee will only collect a few days’ worth of food at a time. Only bumblebee queens live through the winter, underground in a hibernative state, while the rest of the colony dies off. Every spring the queen will come out of her dormant state and begin to lay eggs and build up her colony all over again.

Stings

Bumblebee species are not normally aggressive, but may sting in defense of their nest, or if harmed. As their nest gets bigger, however, it can become hard to coexist with them. For homes with children and pets, bumblebees can pose of serious danger to them if they are not careful. It is important to know that unlike the honey bee, a bumble bee can sting you multiple times.

Bee Removal FAQ

1. Do you have experience removing bees from a wall?

Removing honeybees from a wall requires carpentry experience. A novice beekeeper can cause more damage than good if they are not experts in carpentry.

2. What is the process of removing bees from a wall?

An experienced beekeeper will identify the location of the bees with an infrared camera, use a smoker to calm the bees, use a bee vacuum and other professional tools to remove the honeybees safely, extract the hive, clean the affected area, apply pesticide to deter honeybees from returning to the empty hive, fill the open area with insulation and replace the wall with the original material whenever possible.

3. Do you have pictures of honeybee removals from walls?

Trustworthy honeybee removal companies will have plenty of pictures. Choose a company that has more than just a few examples.

4.How long have you been a beekeeper?

Because there are many species of bees, a beekeeper must have extensive knowledge of the different techniques to safely and effectively remove the bees.

5. How long have you been in business?

Make sure they have a valid business license and have many years of experience in the bee removal field.

6. Do you have references?

A reputable bee removal company will have good ratings online on platforms such as Google. Be wary of businesses that have too few good reviews. It’s not unusual for novice companies to ask friends and family to create favorable reviews.

7. Do you guarantee your work?

Read the warranty or guarantee agreement carefully. A good bee removal company will warranty a removal requiring a repair for at least a year.

8. Do you have insurance?

Some companies operate with little or no insurance. Companies should have both liability and workers' compensation insurance. This is a good precaution against accidents caused by bee smokers causing fires or beekeepers falling from roofs or trees.

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