WHAT DO BUMBLE BEES LOOK LIKE?
Bumble bees have a distinct appearance, characterized by their black and yellow coloring and fuzzy hair. They can be over an inch in length. Because bumble bees collect pollen, they have a large “pollen basket” located on their back legs that is often full of the pollen they’ve been foresting. Only female bumble bees have stingers and pointed abdomen, while the male bumble bees have rounded abdomens and no stingers. You may confuse a bumble bee with their look-alike – the carpenter bee – but an easy way to tell is if you see the bee drilling holes into wood or other structural components, it’s a carpenter bee rather than a bumble bee.
WHERE DO BUMBLE BEES NEST?
Most bumble bee species build nests in hidden areas below the ground, on the ground, or at ground level. You can find bee nests in gaps and cracks of siding, under piles of leaves, within abandoned rodent tunnels underground, or even in birds’ nests that have been abandoned. They prefer dry areas that are protected from the weather elements. Bumble bee queens build their nests in the early spring and starts a new colony. While bumble bee nests have fewer members than honeybees, the colonies are still quite large ranging from 50 to 400 bees. The bumble bee workers live about a month and spend the majority of their days looking for plant nectar and pollen to feed the younger members of the colony.
WHAT DO BUMBLE BEES EAT?
Bumble bees eat grubs for protein, and pollen and nectar in flowers. Nectar is their source of energy as it is primarily water with sugar substances. They find the flowers through ultraviolet patches on flowers that humans can’t see. Flowers containing nectar also have flat areas to make it easier for bees to land on them. For bees that never leave the hive, worker bees will store nectar in an internal storage container and transfer the nectar to the worker bees in the hive.
ARE BUMBLE BEES CONSIDERED BENEFICIAL INSECTS?
While often considered a nuisance insect to humans, the truth is bumble bees are beneficial insects that help us grow food. When worker bees fly from one flower to another, they are spreading necessary pollen to our fruits, vegetables, nuts, and plants grown to feed animals.
ARE BUMBLE BEES DANGEROUS?
Bumble bees are not often aggressive, but they do use their stingers in defense of their nest or if they sense danger. Both worker bumble bees and queen bees can sting and because their stingers do not have barbs, they are capable of stinging multiple times without hurting themselves. The stinger does not get left in the wound, either.
DOES INNOVATIVE PEST CONTROL HELP WITH BUMBLE BEES?
Innovative Pest Control can help you with all types of stinging insects, including bumble bees. We always recommend calling our professional team for bumble bee removal services so you are not at risk for stings and potential allergic reactions when you attempt to control bumble bees on your own. Give us a call today to learn more about our bumble bee pest control solutions.
BUMBLE BEE PREVENTION TIPS
To prevent bumble bees from building nests in and around your home:
- look for and fill in any rodent burrows found in the soil
- ensure all vents have screens
- seal all cracks and holes in the structure’s exterior
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