Bees are fuzzy, flying insects with yellow and black stripes. There are two types of bees common in Ontario, the honeybee and the bumblebee. Honeybees and bumblebees can vary in size, however, the bumblebee is the larger of the two.
Habits & Behaviours
Each colony of bees consist of a queen, male drones and sterile female workers. The queens can give birth to between 1,000 and 30,000 offspring, depending on the species and the environment of her surroundings. If the environment is favourable, the number of offspring will be high. The queen is the only member of the colony that can reproduce. Colonies reach peak size in September before frosts kill off most of the colony and the queens attempt to survive and overwinter until the next spring.
Unfortunately the areas surrounding residential, recreational/cottage, and commercial properties provide ideal nesting areas. Some of these areas include verandas, ceilings, attics, walls, trees and shrubs, and in the ground.
Complaints & Destruction
Bees are beneficial to humans because they pollinate plants,however, they can be extremely hazardous to humans as their sting can cause severe pain and reactions may be potentially fatal to those allergic to their venom. Although bees will not typically sting unprovoked, if their nests or they themselves are threatened, they will attack.
Honeybees lose their stinger and die after they sting. Most often, the stinger is left behind in the victim’s skin. Unlike honeybees, bumblebees will not die after they sting and can sting multiple times. Also, if there are hundreds or thousands of bees nesting around your property, there is a higher likelihood of being accidentally stung.
Major Risks & Danger
For most people, a bee sting will result in pain, itching, redness and minor swelling around the sting site. First aid treatment for these symptoms include ice packs to reduce pain, antihistamine tablets or lotions, hydrocortisone cream, vinegar or calamine lotion to remedy itching and inflammation. Symptoms should subside after a few hours. However, there are people that will have a more serious allergic reaction to bee stings that can affect the whole body and may be life threatening. When this happens, it is known as a general, hypersensitive or anaphylactic reaction.
Bees buzzing around garbage bins, recycle bins, etc. or nesting on your commercial property can put your customers at serious risk of being stung. This is especially worrisome for those who may have severe reactions.
Reproduction & Life Cycle
When a queen bee survives in a colony, she will mate with several drones until she is fully mated. The young queen stores the sperm and she will continuously lay eggs to grow her colony by selectively releasing the sperm for the remaining 2-7 years of her life. The new queens are developed from larvae selected by worker bees and specially fed in order to become sexually mature.
Pollen and nectar are the main sources of food for bees. Pollen is a fine powdery substance found in the head of flowers (left). Nectar is a sugar-rich liquid produced by plants.
Treatment & Prevention
To eliminate and reduce the risk of bees invading your residential, recreational/cottage, or commercial properties, treatment and exclusion is the best prevention.
Greenshield Pest Control Inc. can provide you with many treatment, exclusion and prevention solutions.
If you are experiencing a bee infestation within your residential, recreational/cottage, or commercial properties, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE THE NESTS YOURSELF. It is best to let the professionals do the job of safely excluding the insects. Please contact us today or see our Pest Control Services section for further information on the types of services and insect pest solutions we can provide.
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