Bees are amazing little creatures, aren’t they? And we certainly get our fair share of bees in the Phoenix area. They’re closely related to wasps and ants but offer benefits that their pesky cousins don’t: pollination and, at least in the case of the European Honey Bee, the production of honey and beeswax. But we all know that.
Here’s a few facts you may not know about bees:
1. Honey bees are not native to the Americas. They were brought here by Europeans for their honey production.
2. They make honey by mixing enzymes secreted from glands in their mouths with nectar from the flowers that they’ve visited (50 – 100 flowers per day!). They store this mixture in wax honeycombs until the water content has evaporated to around 17%. Then they seal the honey in the wax until they need it for food – usually in the winter.
3. Most colonies of bees consist of 20,000 – 60,000 workers and 1 queen. All of the workers are female, live around 6 weeks and do all of the work.
4. There are male bees, though. The males – called drones – are larger than the workers, have no stingers and do no work at all! Their job is simply mating. That sounds great, but – not so fast; when winter approaches or if food becomes scarce, the drones are all forced from the nest by the females and left to die….
5. It is estimated that it takes 1100 bee stings to be fatal to the average human.
6. A honey bee colony is a highly organized society where everyone has a role. Their survival requires precise cooperation and team work. They communicate via pheromones, odor and dancing.
7. Did you know that bees are the only insect that produces food for humans? Honey is the only natural substance known to contain everything needed for human survival: enzymes, vitamins, minerals and water. It also it the only food that contains pinocembrin, an antioxidant associated with improved brain function. Wow – I need to eat more honey!!
Bees Can Pose a Real Hazard
For all of the positives that bees offer, they can pose a real problem, too. When they swarm they can become a nuisance and sometimes even a hazard to humans and pets. Luckily, most swarms can be removed and relocated without harming the new colony. However, when bees set up shop in an attic, wall void, or block wall that is not always the case. Even if the customer is willing to spend the money to open up the walls (and repair them afterwards), the honeycomb is very difficult to remove without incurring major damage. In these situations the colony usually must be exterminated. Either way, a professional should always be called on to deal with bees and the honeycomb removal.
Picking the right Bee Removal Company
So how do you pick the right company to handle your bee problem? The 1st step is to make sure they carry the appropriate licensing and insurance that the state of Arizona (or what ever state you live in) requires of a bee removal company. Then you want to check their Better Business Bureau record and any online reviews that may be available. When you decide to make the call, find out what their pricing structure is. Cheap isn’t always good, but neither is a blank check. They should be able to give you a price range with a guaranteed cap. If they get to your home and decide that for whatever reason they cannot honor that price cap, they need to tell you that up front so you can decide whether to allow them to do the work or find a new company. Of course, the best bet is if you can find a company that has a flat rate, guaranteed price. There are a few of those bee removal companies around the Phoenix area. Also – the work should be guaranteed for at least 30 days.
The next big question is whether or not you need to have the honey and wax removed from your wall void. As a general rule, if the colony has been there for more that 60 days you may need to. The bees regulate the temperature within the void area with their wings. Once the bees have been exterminated the honey and wax will melt, which can cause a host of other problems such as damaged drywall, electrical issues and other critters like ants and roaches. If the bee removal company recommends having this work done, get a firm price and demand to actually watch the work being done so you can see the honey and wax being removed. This will weed out the less than honest companies.
The next issue we’ll discuss is the possibility of re-infestation. Bees use pharmones to sort of ‘mark’ their territory. These pharmones help the foragers find home. They also attract new bee colonies who may be swarming close by in the future. The only practical way to combat this problem in most cases is to have the void area completely sealed up, thus preventing Bees from entering. Most reputable bee removal companies can handle that work for you and give you a firm price up front.
Are Your Bees Africanized?
Folks often ask if their bees are Africanized. In my opinion, almost all colonies in the Phoenix area a hybrid of Africanized Bees and the more docile European Honey Bees. Twenty years ago I never wore a bee suit when handling a bee infestation. And I never got stung. When the Africanized Bees started showing up, a bee suit was necessary because once in a while we would run into an extremely aggressive colony. As the years have gone by it seems to me that the docile bee colonies and the extremely aggressive bee colonies appear less frequently. Almost every bee colony we deal with is somewhere in between, but aggressive enough that the use of a bee suit is a given. Thus the home owner should never attempt to handle a bee problem on their own. Let the professionals get stung – that’s what they get paid for.
I hope you find this article helpful and I hope you’ll consider the Goldshot Exterminating team of AZDA Licensed & Pre-Screened Bee Control Pros as your bee removal solution. As always: Happy Hunting!