When you think of bees, most probably you think of honey bees. But there are many different kinds of bees, and it is worth knowing what types of bees you are seeing, whether you want to attract them or keep them away. Most bees you see will be female bees, because they are the ones that do most of the work of the bee hive. You can easily learn to identify different types of bees. All bees are beneficial insects, so don't kill them; learn to live with them!
European honey bees, originally imported to North America to pollinate crops, differ from native bees by their coloring, which golden brown with black stripes. Look closely at them, after they have visited flowering plants, and you can see yellow pollen on their legs. When bees collect pollen, they place it in little baskets on their legs. There are many different types of honey bee, but most of them are very similar in appearance to each other.
In the United States, most European honey bees are a social bee and live in a honey bee colony maintained by beekeepers. They don’t often live in wild bee colonies. Even without a beekeeper around, honey bees will fly miles from their hive to find pollen. This is the type of bee we are all familiar with that produces honey.
Other common types of bees are native to the United States.
There are almost 50 species of bumble bees. They are larger than honey bees and have a black body covered with yellow and black hair. They might look like carpenter bees, but carpenter bees are noticeably larger than bumble bees. Bumble bees also have more hair on their abdomens than carpenter bees.
Bees in your Attic
Bumble bees create noise inside a flower by moving around quickly so they vibrate the pollen onto their hairs. They live in nests they build in the ground, often in abandoned mammal holes.
Do Carpenter bees cause Damage?
Carpenter bees, also sometimes known as wood bees, bore into wood to build their nest and make a hole that looks like it was made with a drill. If you see sawdust, you should look for a hole, which is the bee nest. The female carpenter bee lays her eggs in the nest and leaves. The bees emerge from the hole in the spring, leaving in single file. Many people find carpenter bees destructive, but you can deter them by painting or sealing any exposed wood.
So, what should you do if bees move in?
Bees in your Walls
A female carpenter bee is an excellent pollinator. She also has pollen baskets on her legs. Carpenter bees have a black body with dense yellow and black hairs on their head and thorax and a bald abdomen. They can be territorial, so if carpenter bees are buzzing you, they are probably trying to defend their nests.
Mason bees are solitary bees. These are small, fast-flying bees and have metallic coloring . They do not have pollen baskets on their legs. Instead, they carry pollen from flowering plants in hairs on the underside of their abdomens.
Mason bees are most active in the spring and get their name from their habit of using mud to close nest cavities. In nature, they look for hollow stems or a twig to build nests. They also will readily come to bee hotels where environmentally conscious gardeners have pre-drilled holes for them.
Like the carpenter bees, a mason bee will lay female eggs in the back of the nest first and then the male eggs. After that she will gather nectar and pollen and use enzymes to create a food source for the offspring, which will be born the next spring. Finally, she will use mud to seal the opening to the nest. In the spring, the males will emerge first and be ready to mate when the females are born and emerge from the nest.
Bees in your Roof
If you are trying to attract mason bees to a bee hotel, be sure not to cover every bare spot in your landscape with grass or a ground cover. Leave some areas that can become a little muddy after rains or watering for them to be able to build their nest.
Leafcutter bees are solitary bees very similar to mason bees in their nesting characteristics, except that they use leaves to close up their nest cavities. They are black with white hairs covering the thorax and the bottom of the abdomen, and many species of leafcutter bees have large heads with massive jaws to aid in cutting off pieces of leaves to seal their nests. Also like mason bees, they carry pollen on their abdomens and are very fast flyers.
Bees are Beneficial
Blueberry bees are about the size of a honey bee but have hair patterns and banding that give them the appearance of a small version of a bumble bee or a carpenter bee.
They get their name because they evolved with native blueberries, and their bodies have become a perfect fit for bell-shaped blueberry flowers. While they are excellent pollinators for blueberries, they also pollinate other flowering plants. Blueberry bees nest in the ground, especially near blueberry plants once they find them.
Squash bees have evolved to pollinate plants of the family Cucurbita, which includes squash, zucchini, pumpkins and many gourds. They are one of the few bees that fly pre-dawn. Their primary flight times last until mid-morning, and they will fly again near dusk when squash and melon flowers open.
If you see a bee nesting in a squash flower, it is almost certainly a male squash bee as they nest and mate in squash flowers. Females nest in the ground near food sources. Bumblebees also will pollinate squash flowers but tend to linger in the flower while female squash bees do their business and leave. Because the bodies of bumble bees are not designed to pollinate squash flowers, they will have trouble pollinating the flowers, sometimes having to use their legs to balance themselves in the blossom.
The head and thorax of squash bees range in color from black or tan to orange. The thorax is hairy and black with banded abdomen stripes that are black, white or tan.
Sweat bees are a small wild bee, some only a quarter of the size of a honey bee. They have come to be known by the common name of "sweat bee" because they are attracted to human perspiration. They are also excellent pollinators and are active into October and November.
Because of their size, they are attracted to small flowers. They have colors from black to metallic blues and greens, with hints of copper or blue. Some species of bees in this bee family have stripes on their abdomens. They can be difficult to see due to their small size and high speed.
These characteristics should help you with bee identification. Remember, leave them alone, and you will help these beneficial insects to thrive. Only if they become a problem should you consider removing them.
What sort of Warranty would I get with a bee removal?
Part of the guarantee and warranty for our work is bee proofing your house. We seal up cracks and crevices and remove the space of the hive preventing it from coming back. We offer limited lifetime warranties for any bee removals performed to an area. Wasp removal and wasp nests as well as bee swarm removal are not warrantied as these come back just due to the north Texas environment. Honeybee hive removal if done correct should never have honeybees that come back to the area.
Safe bee removal is really a job for the professionals. It is best to leave it to one of our removal specialists to avoid painful stings, or worse, discover you are allergic to bees!
Once the live removal is complete, we inspect the rest of the area and house for any other hives or swarms of bees in your house restoring it to its original condition (unless otherwise agreed upon).
We also offer Bee Proofing and preventative services.
Bee proofing your home or business will prevent future bee squatters, and you and your neighborhood bees can live in harmony. We seal up holes check woodpiles, brush and other places bees might use to build a hive in your home as a preventative measure to avoid the bee removal process in the future. Scout bees don’t like it when we seal up cracks and crevices. Our preventative services also prevent a deterrent to yellow jacket wasps and hornets. Ask our technicians about this service
Our locally owned and operated company has a commitment to our customers "treat everything like it was your house" and "Always do the right thing."
Think of us next time you search for "Bee removal near me" or beehive removal first! If you have questions email or call, we are always here for our customers.
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