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Stinging Insects

Honey Bees

Honey bees, among the most beneficial insects in our living environment, pollinate flowers and allow us to have fruits and vegetables. A pleasant byproduct is the production of honey, but honey bees can be our foes when they end up in our houses.

Honey bees are docile social insects, meaning that they live in groups. As the colony grows too large, a queen may leave with workers and start a new colony. Honey bees peacefully go about their business pollinating plants and producing delicious honey.

Sometimes, hone bees will build hives in walls of a home or business or in bushes nearby leading to hone bees in our living or working spaces. Then, the mild honey bee becomes a pest. Honey bees can sting and some people have violent allergic reactions to the stings.

Much has been written about Africanized honey bees or "killer bees." This strain of bee is much more aggressive than the mild mannered European honey bee. Africanized honey bees are in the very warm areas of the country and are moving further north each year. They will pursue an intruder for the length of a football field, while they hone bee will only pursue an intruder for about on tenth of that distance.

By midsummer, hone bees reach very high populations. Occupants should not fog the inside of their houses or businesses if honey bees are found. If the bees are moved, leaving the hive unattended, robber bees may come and reoccupy the hive, thus perpetuating the bee problem. Instead a pest control company should be called to alleviate the problem with maximum care and minimal risk to the occupants.

European Hornets

These very large, 3/4" to 1" long hornets are brown with yellow abdominal stripes and a pale face. They build large brownish-colored "paper carton" nests, sometimes as large as a basketball, which are often located in some protected area like a wall void, an attic or within the branches of a bush.

Although mainly active in the daytime, they do fly at nigh and may be attracted to lights. They are generally beneficial insects, feeding mainly on other insects, many of which are plant pests. By late summer, a mature colony may number 200-400 workers (up to 1, 000). Workers are protective of their nest and give a painful sting, sometimes repeated stings, if they or their nests are disturbed. In general, they are much less aggressive, even near their nests, than are baldfaced hornets Control of hornets or removal of their nests should be left to a properly trained and equipped professional.



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