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HONEY BEE

Honey bees are the most beneficial insect to humans. They are social insects with a distinct caste system. A colony consists of a queen, drones (males), and workers.

The queen is 3/5 to 3/4 inches long and is the only member of the colony able to lay eggs. Drones are 3/4 to 5/8 inches long and their sole purpose is to mate with the queen.

The workers are the commonly seen buzzing from flower to flower collecting pollen. They are in charge of caring for the queen, the drones and the larve.

Workers are about 3/5 inches long covered with short, dense hair, usually golden-brown and black with a striped abdomen.

When the honey bee colony gets too large for the space they live in, the queen will leave with around half of the colony to find a new home. This is called swarming. The bees left behind will make a new queen from two day old larve from the old queen. They will feed these larve a special food (royal jelly) to turn a worker into a queen.

During swarming the queen is very physical. She may settle in a tree or bushes or in a home. If the swarm is left alone she may leave on her own in a few days.

If the colony has not left in a few days, the queen has decided to stay. There are a few options at this point. A bee keeper can be called to remove the nest and relocate it or it can be destroyed.

Even though honey bees are not normally aggressive they will sting in groups if they feel their colony is in danger.

Since each colony presents its own problems, treatments will vary.

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Photo Gallery


 

Drones with Workers

 

Swarm Ball on Building

Honey Bees in Dryer Vent

Honey Bee Nest in Garage
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