Bees
Species Identification

Southern B.C. is home to Bumble Bees and Honey Bees. Bees feed on nectar and pollen from flowers which are their sources of carbohydrates and protein. The majority of the honey bees are from commercial hives where the honey they produce is gathered and sold. There are still honey bee hives found in large trees and in other protected spaces. In both cases the hive structure is vertical wax honey combs, bees manufacture the wax used in the honey comb construction and use it for honey storage, for hatching eggs, and for the bee transitioning from larva to pupa.

Unlike wasps and bumble bees, honey bee colonies don’t die off every year. As the temperature drops their activity lessens until, at approximately 14 degrees Celsius, they form a tight cluster. The heat they generate from consuming honey prevents them from freezing, even in extreme cold conditions, providing the supply of honey is not used up.

Bumble bees will nest in ground in old mouse burrows, or above ground anywhere there is a cavity space. Like honey bees, bumble bees also produce vertical honey combs in their hives.

Like wasps, bumble bee hives die in the fall, except for the new queens who will leave the nest, mate, and then winter in a dormant state in an enclosed space. As the temperature warms in the spring the queens emerge from their dormant state and establish new hives. Also like wasps, bumble bees will not reuse old nests.

 

Risk Management

Bees in general do not cause much of a threat. If provoked, they may sting as a line of defense. As part of their aggressive defense of their nests, bumble bees will chase nest invaders for a considerable distance.

The bumble bee sting is one of the most painful. Unlike honey bees, bumble bees can sting more than once. If you see bees, stay clear, walk the other way.

 

Treatment

Because Honey Bees and Bumble Bees are a beneficial insect, we do not treat for them. We encourage the help of local bee keepers. They can assist in the removal of the swarm, sometimes free of charge (for Honey Bees).

Please contact us if you would like us to help you get in touch with a bee keeper in your area.

 

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