Our Apiarist has year of experience under his belt when it comes to bee behavior, beekeeping and bee removal. Ever wondered why bees swarm or what are the healing properties of honey? You'll find these answers and more in our Bee Blog.
While most of the country follows stay-in-place orders to combat COVID-19, you may not have noticed that it’s spring. March 19th marked the first day of the spring season, and you know what that means – we are getting ever closer to the emergence of honeybees. The warmer weather initiates a few important changes in… The post Spring Has Sprung for Honeybees! appeared first on Live Bee...
While most of the country follows stay-in-place orders to combat COVID-19, you may not have noticed that it’s spring. March 19th marked the first day of the spring season, and you know what that means – we are getting ever closer to the emergence of honeybees.
The warmer weather initiates a few important changes in nature and inside the hive. Blooming flowers mean new supplies of nectar and pollen are emerging. And after a cold winter, honeybees are starting to prepare to go back to work. So, what exactly is going on in the hive during the colder months?
As the temperatures drop, bees need to focus on tasks that will keep them alive through the winter. The first order of business: get rid of the drones. The primary purpose of drones is to mate. After they mate, they don’t add much value to the hive. All they do is take up space and valuable resources. As the nectar resources start to diminish in the fall and winter, worker bees will begin to forcibly remove the drones from the hive, kicking them to the curb and leaving them to die.
So rude! Although that might sound harsh, without the drones, the hive preserves valuable honey stores that they need to survive the season.
The next order of business is to stay warm! The bees huddle together to insulate each other inside a cluster. Depending on the climate inside the hive, the bee cluster will expand and contract to adjust the temperature.
The queen bee lives in the middle of the cluster. Colonies that worked hard during the summer and collected vast stores of pollen and nectar may begin to feed the queen to prepare her for her egg-laying duties. In fact, in some colonies and warmer parts of the world, the queen can continue to lay eggs throughout the winter.
The springtime means that bees must start to perform several vital functions:
At this point, there are no (or very few) drones in the hive. Some older worker bees may have died over the winter. Now is the time to expand the population of the colony! Egg production ramps up during this time, significantly increasing the numbers in just a few short weeks. The queen will start to produce more drones in preparation for the natural division of the colony that is about to happen. More on this later!
Adult worker bees get to work right away, replenishing the colony’s food supplies. Their supplies for the winter are undoubtedly low at this point, and the queen has already started to produce new eggs. Food is needed to support the brood-rearing efforts as well as to sustain the growing colony as a whole. In addition to nectar and pollen, worker bees gather water to aid in regulating the temperature inside the hive. The water is also used to soften and liquefy hardened honey to feed the developing brood.
With all of the activity going on inside the hive, things are starting to get a little crowded. More drones and adult bees means that the colony is beginning to outgrow the hive. Bees sense the change, and begin to prepare for the division of the colony. The queen produces more drones, and the worker bees prepare to rear a new queen bee. A few special larvae start eating a diet of royal jelly, which will help them develop into potential queen bees.
Once the new queen is ready to emerge, the old queen and about half of her colony will leave the hive and swarm. The swarm will typically form in a cluster on a tree limb and will stay there for a few hours to a few days. During this time, scout bees are searching for a new home. When they find the perfect place, the swarm will move to the new location and begin settling in: building honeycomb, rearing their young and gathering nectar and pollen.
Want to learn more about swarms? Check out these articles to learn more about how and why honeybees swarm and form new colonies.
Honeybees are highly social animals living in tight knit societies called colonies. A colony consists of a single queen (usually, we’ll get to that later), a few hundred male drones and lots and lots of female worker bees – to the tune of around 20 to 80 thousand. Just like a human colony, it’s not… The post Who’s Who in a Honeybee Colony appeared first on Live Bee...
Honeybees are highly social animals living in tight knit societies called colonies. A colony consists of a single queen (usually, we’ll get to that later), a few hundred male drones and lots and lots of female worker bees – to the tune of around 20 to 80 thousand.
Just like a human colony, it’s not all adults though. Babies can be found in the colony in various stages of childhood from eggs and larvae to pupae. The stages of bee childhood are referred to as metamorphosis.
If you thought human children were hard to deal with, imagine waking to find your child sprouting some new limbs. Bees go through some pretty drastic changes as they mature. Bee eggs begin life packed into individual honeycomb cells, all laid by the single queen of the colony. If the eggs are fertilized, they’ll be born as female worker bees. If they’re unfertilized, they’ll become male drones.
When they’re born, eggs hatch to become larvae. A larva is a limbless little grub and a complete eating machine – eating honey, nectar and pollen all day long. Larvae will molt repeatedly during this time as they grow.
When they’re finally big enough after a few days of gorging, worker bees will seal the larvae in with wax into their cells where the larvae will spin a cocoon and enter the pupa stage. This is where, much like a butterfly, they will develop their adult body – sprouting wings and limbs and turning into either a worker or a drone. When they hatch, free time is over. No more lounging and eating for the new adults as they join the busy goings-on of the colony.
Being a drone is kind of a mixed bag. They’re born with only one job – fertilizing a new queen. This occurs in a grand, aerial bacchanalia. Things aren’t quite as ideal as they might sound though. For one, all the drones are involved – so it’s hardly a romantic interlude when a hundred of your brothers all show up on your date. Oh, and did we mention they drop dead after mating? Yep. Further, any that manage to somehow survive will be thrown out of the colony come fall when food stores get more scarce.
The vast majority of the colony are workers. Workers are all female and the ones you usually encounter in your garden. They’re also the armed ones – equipped with barbed stingers. A worker bee lives a rough, short life of around six weeks.
If you thought drones had it tough, you’re going to find “having it tough” is a way of life for bees. The worker is responsible for gathering food, feeding the larvae, making honey, caring for anyone in the hive that isn’t a worker and dying to defend the colony. Yes, dying. Unfortunately that stinger they’re armed with is only designed to stab an enemy. It’s barbed, so it will go in but not come out. This results in their abdomen being torn from their bodies after they sting. On the bright side for us humans, this makes them understandably a bit picky about whether they sting someone.
The last member of the colony is the queen. And yes, her job is no cakewalk either, regardless of her title. During her mating with the drones early in life, she stores up millions of sperm from the event that she’ll use for the rest of her life. That life includes laying up to 2,000 eggs per day! A queen can technically live up to five years, but the endless egg laying takes its toll – so they usually only last two to three years.
Being a queen can be a stressful job. Picture this – you’ve just come off a shift of laying 2,000 eggs. The workers have been watching you and can tell your getting slower at your job though. In response, they build special cells and start raising several contenders to replace you. When the first new queen hatches, her first order of business will be to kill all the other would-be queens waiting to hatch. Then there’s you, the old queen. Your odds are not good at this point. However, there are exceptions as sometimes the old queen will be left alive to keep laying eggs alongside the new queen. As a rule though, there is usually only one queen.
Swarms are a happy exception to the one queen rule. Sometimes a colony is doing great. Really great. In fact, they’re getting overpopulated for a hive. When this happens, a new queen is born to rule the colony. The old queen will abdicate her throne. However, she’ll also take about half the colony’s workers with her.
When the queen and this new colony take to the air, they are called a swarm. These swarms typically take place between spring and summer. So, if you happen to see a swarm, don’t panic. It’s not going to end like some cheesy natural disaster movie. They’re just looking for a new home. That being said, use some common sense and don’t disturb them as they’ll feel more vulnerable than usual, and this can make them more aggressively defensive.
So, that’s the rough and industrious life of the humble honeybee. It’s not an easy life for a creature that gives so much to the world – from nature’s best sweetener in combs full of honey to covering our dinner table in food by pollinating our fruits and vegetables.
If you want to do something back for these little guys, avoid using insecticides on them. Instead opt for live bee removal. There are companies available that will remove the hive for you and relocate it somewhere where it can continue to be productive.
Watching a bee weaving about the garden might make you think that they lead quite a carefree life! After all, they spend their days sunbathing on flowers and lazily eating sweet nectar. Nothing could be further from the truth. That little guy is the very picture of industry. A bee is a highly social insect,… The post What Makes a Beehive? appeared first on Live Bee...
Watching a bee weaving about the garden might make you think that they lead quite a carefree life! After all, they spend their days sunbathing on flowers and lazily eating sweet nectar. Nothing could be further from the truth. That little guy is the very picture of industry.
A bee is a highly social insect, part of an organized, hardworking colony. Bees flourish because of their well-ordered, communal existence – each member doing its part for the health and success of the hive. If you’d expect the hive itself to be as organized as the little creatures that built it, you’d be absolutely right!
Here are some fun facts about honeybee hives, both the wild kinds found in nature as well as the ones humans build to farm bees for their honey.
Starting with the wild hives, you can find them in hollowed out trees, caves or rock cavities. In milder climates, they may also be built exposed and off the ground hanging from trees or other structures. Unfortunately for all involved, your house may look like a hollowed-out tree. If that is the case, please accept a sincere apology on behalf of all bees. They may be smart little insects, but at the end of the day they are only smart for insects – there are no bee rocket scientists.
Let’s not dwell on your attic though. We were talking about the hive.
The hive entrance is a reinforced area built of propolis. Propolis, or bee glue, is made by mixing saliva, beeswax and plant resins. This duct tape of the bee world is used for everything that needs gluing or reinforcement – from the secure entrance to holding the hive in place.
The hive itself is built of beeswax, a wax produced by glands in the abdomen of worker bees. The wax is built up into hexagonal cells to form honeycombs, layers of which make up the whole of the hive. As a disclaimer, honeycomb is a slightly inaccurate descriptor as it’s used throughout the hive, not just in the places where honey is stored.
Looking inside the hive, they generally follow the same pattern. The highest layers are used to store food – with honey at the top and pollen just below. Moving along down in the hive, next would be the brood cells, workers on top and drones below. Finally, somewhere near the bottom you’ll find the queen cells. Along the layers of the hive, small cavities are left for bees to travel throughout.
On a final note regarding wild beehives, bee professionals will – with varying degrees of impatience – point out that there is no such thing as a wild beehive. So, with a tip of the hat both to the entomologists and etymologists out there – a beehive in the wild should technically be called a bee nest. A beehive is a man-made structure. Speaking of which…
As far back as 4,400 years ago, it occurred to humans that digging honey out of a tree stump might not be the brightest of plans. Bees are, after all, armed and a bit partial about whether their homes get destroyed. Being the clever creatures that humans are, they realized that building artificial hives would make gathering honey far safer and easier.
We humans were decidedly bad landlords at first as early hives usually needed to be destroyed to extract the honey. They were basically little more than artificial hollows made of mud, brick or even straw. Thankfully, modern hives are designed to keep the colony and hive safe and in as good shape as possible.
Removable frames are now used to hold the layers of honeycomb. It not only minimizes destruction, it preserves the brood areas of the honeycomb to preserve the colony. This is possible because bees will segregate their honeycomb layers in a man-made hive just like they would in a wild nest – using different frames for honey, the brood and queen.
So, that’s the wild nest and the man-made hive – top to bottom. One last note on modern beehives though. Not only do they enable easier extraction of honey without hurting the colony, they’re also portable.
Why’s that? It turns out bees are one of the world’s best pollinators, and we rely on that ability far more than we rely on their honey. In fact, much of the world’s food crops depend on pollination.
So, beekeepers are quite popular with farmers, transporting their colonies out to help farmers each year with their pollination services. In fact, bees are so vital to agriculture that companies specialize in bee removal from residential homes just to avoid exterminating them. Now that’s a valuable insect!
Are you in need of live bee removal for your San Diego home or business? Contact D-Tek Live Bee Removal today to get your estimate.
Oh no! You’ve found a beehive in your yard. Worse still, maybe you’ve noticed a line of them going back and forth through an opening into your attic. Your first reaction might be to reach for a can of wasp spray or call an exterminator. Before you do though, please consider this plea for the… The post Who Choose Live Bee Removal? appeared first on Live Bee...
Oh no! You’ve found a beehive in your yard. Worse still, maybe you’ve noticed a line of them going back and forth through an opening into your attic. Your first reaction might be to reach for a can of wasp spray or call an exterminator. Before you do though, please consider this plea for the often maligned and underappreciated little bee.
We all have a healthy fear of being stung by a flying insect. It hurts and it can make relaxing outside nearly impossible if you’re worried about one of these little critters stabbing you in the arm. Yet, not all stinging insects are cut from the same cloth.
Bees are actually fairly peaceful, happy little creatures. Their days are filled with hopping from flower to flower, gathering nectar to support their hives. In the case of honeybees, they stay very busy making one of nature’s best sweet treats- honey!
Let’s also not forget one important fact about most bees – they can only sting once. So, to be fair, we’re not just relying on their pleasant dispositions to not sting us.
Suppose you are a honeybee, and some annoying human swats at you while you’re going about your day. You have a weapon. It’s not particularly lethal, but it will certainly make them regret swatting at you. Do you sting them?
Not so fast – let’s also consider that to sting them you’ll basically bisect your own body and, well…. die. Not so keen to sting them now are you? The bee’s stinger has barbs along it. So when they sting something, it’s a one-way trip. They can’t remove it. So you really have to anger a bee to get stung.
Interestingly, the larger bumblebee is an exception to this rule. They can sting to their heart’s content as they have a smooth stinger. They just don’t. These plump, furry little bees just refuse to be in a bad mood. Unless you seem like a direct threat to them or their home, they want nothing more than to peacefully coexist.
Let’s dive straight into the math. Bees have an over-sized job to perform in the world of agriculture. Annually, they contribute $14 billion to crop production in the U.S. Out of the top 100 crops in the world, 70 of those depend on pollination. Those crops translate to a staggering 90% of the world’s nutrients.
According to the American Beekeeping Federation, out of every three bites of food you eat, bees are responsible for providing one. That’s a statistical average, mind you. If you’re last three bites were of a cheeseburger, bees had little to do with that. Or did they?
Interestingly, pollination isn’t just vital for growing the food we eat – it’s also vital for growing the food we feed to other stuff we intend to eat. Alfalfa, for instance, requires pollination to grow. That’s a staple for herbivores like cattle. No cattle food means no cattle. No cattle means no burger and no dairy. So it’s important to keep this in mind when looking at truly how important bees are to our food sources.
For the larger part of this century, bee populations have been in steep decline. In the U.S., it’s been about a 30% decrease in population annually. There’s no single cause, but instead a deadly confluence of factors including habitat loss, climate change, pesticides, disease and colony collapse disorder – a condition where most of the worker bees abandon their colony and leave it to die. In 2017, the U.S. put a bumblebee on the endangered species list for the first time.
No one, yourself included, likely wants to be added to any list called “a deadly confluence of factors”. So, if you’ve found a hive on your land or in your home, consider calling a live bee removal service instead. For a surprisingly reasonable fee, they will come out and remove the entire hive and relocate them where they can continue to live and do their part in keeping the system going.
Another advantage to removal versus extermination is that even if you do exterminate the hive, you still have to remove it. If you have literal honey inside your drywall and no bees to protect it anymore, you’ve basically just opened a 24/7 diner for every insect that can smell. Spoiler alert: that’s pretty much all of them.
One important note though: Do not try to remove the bees yourself. Some things you can fake being good at and some you can’t. Being an expert in bee removal is in the latter category – like being an astronaut. If you don’t know what you’re doing and faking your way along, your career will be brief and probably painful.
Mishandling a bee hive can get you severely stung many, many, many times over. As a parting statistic on the matter – bee removal is, on average, five times less expensive than the price of an ambulance. So save some money, call an expert and have your bees safely removed. And don’t forget to congratulate yourself on doing our ecosystem a favor!
Many of our bee removal customers also need bee removal repairs. They don’t realize that at D-Tek Live Bee Removal, we can do both! While we know the many benefits of bees and their important role as pollinators, they can become a bit of a nuisance. When bees decide to build their nest inside your… The post How Bees Can Damage Your Home appeared first on Live Bee...
Many of our bee removal customers also need bee removal repairs. They don’t realize that at D-Tek Live Bee Removal, we can do both!
While we know the many benefits of bees and their important role as pollinators, they can become a bit of a nuisance. When bees decide to build their nest inside your home, there is the potential for significant structural damage. Not only can this be frustrating, it can be costly.
At the first sign of a beehive or an increase in bee activity near your home, call in bee removal and bee repair experts. A professional team will have the knowledge, skills and equipment to safely and effectively remove the bees. Plus, as pros in bee removal repairs, you can feel confident that your home will be returned to tip-top shape quickly.
Remember, bee damage should not be ignored. At the first hint of a bee infestation, call a trusted bee removal company like D-Tek Live Bee Removal.
Honeybees are often in the news because of our need to protect them. Plus, we love the delicious honey that they provide. But there is a downside to having honeybees on your property. Honeybees love to build their nests inside walls and openings in the eaves of your roof, fences, sheds and garages.
Large colonies can build very heavy nests due to the sheer amount of honeycomb, wax and honey that is used to construct them. The weight of the nest can cause wood, sheetrock and insulation to break or tear. Plus, honey and wax can seep through the walls creating a mess inside your home.
Carpenter bees get their name because they prefer to lay their eggs in wood. They love to find holes and cracks in the structure of your home and build tunnels where they can lay their eggs. The tunnels they build can later be used by other insects as a home. The tunnels can also cause weakness in a structure and result in tens of thousands of dollars in damages.
So far, we’ve talked in general terms about the damage that bees can cause. Let’s dive a little deeper! Here are three specific repair concerns homeowners may face when dealing with a bee infestation.
A beehive is not only full of thousands of bees. It also contains beeswax and honey, two of their most useful products. Although we use both of these in many household products and in our kitchens, beeswax and honey can cause significant damage to your home.
Honey is sweet, and other critters such as rodents and insects are attracted to it (just like us!) When they smell the honey left by the bees, the critters flock to the area to collect the leftovers. And they’re not always discrete! Rodents and other insects that come to the area can cause a lot of damage from trying to access the honey. They also leave behind waste products that can cause issues in the future.
In addition, leftover honey from an abandoned beehive can seep into your walls. Homeowners may notice an odor and unexplained stains on their walls. A professional bee removal company will be able to help you identify the presence of the beehive and find its exact location.
At warm temperatures, wax can melt and leave unwanted stains on your walls. Like honey, wax can attract insects. They can build their nests in your home, causing another infestation. One such insect is the wax moth. The wax moth will plunder an abandoned nest to lay their eggs. Once the eggs hatch into adult moths, they will begin to eat the wood in the surrounding area.
The process of building their nests can cause a great deal of damage in itself. The bees are in and out every day as they build their nest and forage for nectar and pollen. Often, they have to redecorate your structure by removing wood, insulation or other building materials to make room for their nest. This kind of structural damage can cause weakness in your walls and create ideal conditions for leaks, mold and other unwanted damage.
D-Tek Live Bee Removal has been in the bee business for almost 20 years. Not only do we specialize in safe and humane bee removal, we are experts in performing bee repairs for your business or residential property. With years of experience, our technicians are skilled at identifying the damage and isolating it to minimize the amount of repairs that your home needs. When our team is done, you would never know that a colony of bees used to live there!
If you need trusted professionals for your next bee removal or bee removal repair project, don’t hesitate to call D-Tek Live Bee Removal of San Diego. Our team is ready to help you remove your bee issue and give you the peace of mind you need!
Honeybees play a vital role in our ecosystem. They help to pollinate a surprising amount of the foods that humans eat, including many of our fruits, vegetables and coffee. Their pollination efforts also help to produce the food that other animals eat, and many of those animals, in turn, are eaten by humans. It’s an… The post Can San Diego Honeybees Be Removed Safely? appeared first on Live Bee...
Honeybees play a vital role in our ecosystem. They help to pollinate a surprising amount of the foods that humans eat, including many of our fruits, vegetables and coffee. Their pollination efforts also help to produce the food that other animals eat, and many of those animals, in turn, are eaten by humans. It’s an entire cycle that allows all species to thrive.
But anyone who has spent time outdoors at a picnic in the summertime knows that honeybees can be quite a nuisance. Bees can even be dangerous, especially for people who are allergic to the venom in a bee sting. Not only are bee stings a potential health hazard for some, the presence of a bee hive or swarm can cause fear and panic among many people. If you are a business owner, the presence of a swarm near the entrance of your business can severely impact your bottom line.
What should you do if you find a bee hive or swarm on your property?
You should call in the professionals. Honeybees should never be removed from a business or residential property by a novice. It’s too dangerous and complicated a task to attempt without the proper skills and equipment. If you have bees on your property that you would like removed, call the experts in San Diego bee removal at D-Tek Live Bee Removal.
Although there are some typical places where bees hide, they can still show up in some rather unexpected places. You might think of a beehive hanging from a tree, but bees have been known to build their nests inside homes!
Beehives have been found in walls, roofs, attics and chimneys. If you suspect that bees have made your home their new home, you must contact a professional bee removal company right away. The longer the bees are allowed to live in the structure of your home, the larger the problem will become.
Honeybees can frequently be found outdoors, such as in trees and bushes. They can also be found in more unusual places like in garages, sheds and other structures. A bee hive or swarm may seem like a minor issue when found outdoors, but there are potential safety issues. Honeybees can become aggressive if they feel that their hive is being threatened, putting people at risk.
Removing honeybees is not an easy task. Live bee removal can be difficult. It requires a significant amount of experience and skill to do the job correctly and safely. Very often, jobs that may appear to be simple (like a few bees buzzing around your front door), could actually be an indication of a more extensive bee infestation nearby.
At the first sign of bees, call a professional bee removal company to assist you. Never attempt to do it on your own! The risk of a bee attack is too great, and the potential of killing the bees during the process is too high. Hiring a bee removal company that specializes in safe and humane bee removal is the best option – for the safety of you and your family, and the honeybees!
So, can honeybees safely be removed from your home, business or property? Absolutely!
However, honeybee removal should always be handled by a professional removal company that has years of experience and excellent customer reviews. Don’t leave the job to an inexperienced bee removal or pest control company. Choose a company that specializes in live bee removal. They are the only ones who will get the job done right, while still protecting the precious honeybee population.
Don’t hesitate to call D-Tek Live Bee Removal. For almost 20 years, we have been the trusted leader in live bee removal services for San Diego and the surrounding areas. Between our highly-trained technicians and top-notch customer service, D-Tek Live Bee Removal stands above the rest.
If you have a honeybee hive or swarm that is damaging your property or putting your family at risk, contact D-Tek Live Bee Removal today. Our bee removal specialists are ready to answer your questions and suggest the best solutions for your bee removal needs.
We look forward to serving our San Diego neighbors and those in the surrounding communities!
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