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Honey Bees Print E-mail
Characteristics
Honey bees may be various shades of yellow, black, brown, or orange; with the head, antennae, legs and a portion of the abdomen being dark. The body is covered with light-colored hairs, thickest on top of the thorax. Worker bees are usually about ½ in to 2/3 inch long. Individual colonies may have 20-50,000 bees.

Behavior
Honeybees are the only type of social bee that establish perennial colonies that may survive a decade or longer. These bees forage on pollen and nectar from flowering plants and use these materials to produce the honey that will feed the colony through the winter months. Waxy honeycombs will fill the nest cavity, a fact that makes removal of honeybees from buildings a messy chore. All honeybee colonies produce queens and drones in the spring. These reproductives mate, and the queens may "abscond" with a number of workers to start new colonies. These swarms may be seen clustered on a tree branch, a fence, or a building as the bees rest before flying off again to find a suitable nesting site. Because hundreds of bees are part of this swarm, people are often concerned about the possibility of the bees attacking. Usually, the bees in these swarms are docile and non-aggressive unless vigorously disturbed.

Habitat
In the wild, honeybees most often nest inside cavities within trees, but they will also nest within caves and cracks in rock formations. Occasionally, a colony will decide to nest inside a crawl space, an attic, a wall void, or a chimney in a home.

Tips for Control
Because Africanized honey bees (aka killer bees) cannot be distinguished from regular honey bees without expert examination, any honeybee hive or swarm found in the Southwestern United States should be respected at a safe distance. This is one case where "do it yourself pest control" is never recommended. Once the colony inside a wall or attic has been eliminated, the building owner will need to open the wall and remove all the honey and honeycomb to ensure other insects aren't attracted to the leavings.


Call Vanish Pest Control to arrange for one of our Bay Area pest control experts to come help you exterminate bees from your home or business.
 
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