There are approximately 20,000 different species of bees in the world, and hundreds of bee species in New York State and Vermont. However, the most-widely recognized are honey bees and bumble bees. Known for their role in pollination, bees are adapted for feeding on nectar and pollen. Both honey bees and bumble bees live socially in colonies with a queen bee, worker bees and drones. Only the queen bee can reproduce, although, in the case of honey bees, a hive may have more than one queen. The worker bees clean the hive, collect pollen and nectar to feed the colony, and care for the offspring, while the drone’s only job is to mate with the queen.
The best known honey bee is the Western honey bee. Domesticated for honey production and crop pollination, honey bees pollinate more than 100 crops in the U.S. Only female honey bees sting and they can only do so once because their stingers are barbed and tear off when they fly away. Honey bees are oval-shaped with bands of yellow and brown hairs, although some may appear almost completely black. They typically build their nests in tree crevices, but they can also be found in attics and chimneys. Because honey bee nests can be very large and messy, only a professional bee exterminator or experienced beekeeper can safely remove a honey bee nest.
Bumble bees have round black and yellow bodies covered in soft hair that looks and feels fuzzy, similar to carpenter bees. Their colonies are usually smaller than honey bees, and they often nest in the ground, although we frequently find bumble bee nests around patio areas, decks, attics and under roof beams, as well. Contrary to common belief, female bumble bees can sting repeatedly, but they generally ignore humans and pets. The one exception is if they believe their nest is threatened. They will aggressively defend their nests, chasing perpetrators for long distances. The bumble bee sting is one of the most painful and can remain swollen and irritated for days. Because bumblebees will sting when threatened, homeowners are advised to contact a professional bee exterminator or experienced beekeeper if they find a nest.
Request a Free Inspection with a Bee Exterminator
If you see bee activity or suspect you have a hive, contact Nature’s Way for a free inspection. Our professional bee exterminators provide bee control in New York and Vermont. We also provide specialized carpenter bee pest control programs. For bee control services, call (518) 745-5958 in New York, or (802) 855-2978 in Vermont.