Not many people realize it, but bee season is upon us. Every spring bees travel in swarms all the way through July or August, depending on the weather and vegetation. As much as we need honey bees for pollination, we don’t necessarily want them living in our yards or homes. And once they start to swarm they might just set their sights on colonizing your property.
Why Do Bees Swarm?
Bee swarms are nothing more than shifting colonies. Why bees swarm is open to debate, however, those who study bee habits feel they have it narrowed down to three consistent reasons:
- Poor Hive Management
When colonies become so populated or riddled with disease that inhabitants can’t navigate their own hives, groups of bees break off and go in search of nice, cozy places to start a new colonies.
- To Increase Numbers
Sometimes bees simply decide it’s time to increase the herd (so to speak). Even though the current hive is not crowded or diseased, swarms often go on exploratory missions to find new places to colonize, just because they think it’s time to do so.
- Bad Location
Because of shifting weather patterns hives that were once in protected areas can eventually end up in threatening locations. For example, if a hive is in direct sunlight most of the day it might get too hot for the bees to survive. Similarly, new development (homes, strip malls, roads, etc.) in places that used to be remote can endanger bees, as well. In these cases the bees swarm away to create new colonies.
If you happen to notice a bee swarm on your property, don’t panic. Instead, just observe the behavior of the swarm. There’s a good chance they’re just passing through. However, if they stay for more than 24 hours, they’re probably planning to stick around, which is when you need to call Admiral Pest Control to assess the situation. It’s nearly impossible to get rid of bees without professional treatment.
Bees Can Sting in More Ways Than One
Obviously the most immediate danger of having bees in your yard or home is that they sting. But did you know that if someone gets stung by a bee while on your property, and as a result suffers injury, illness, or even death, they (or their families) can hold you personally liable IF they can prove you were negligent? Having a wild beehive around could be a case for negligence, if you knew about it but did nothing to get rid of it.
Or liability can even transcend beyond the property owners. In 2010 a New Jersey woman was awarded $1.6M when urgent care doctors misdiagnosed a bee sting allergy in her husband, resulting in her husband’s death. Per the New Jersey Star-Ledger, “If they [the doctors] had [diagnosed a bee sting allergy], her attorney said, she may have been able to prevent his death by having the hive removed from their property.”
But personal injury isn’t all you have to worry about when it comes to bees. If they get into the space between the walls in your home, they can cause structural damage by chewing through the moisture barrier all the way down to the wood, dry wall, or stucco. In such cases, you definitely need Admiral Pest Control to treat the situation.
And if it’s honeybees, watch out! A Rocky Mountain, NC, homeowner discovered that when that when a honeybee infestation in her home was left untreated for an extended period of time, the damage due to the honeycombs was NOT covered by her insurance company. Read about that story here.
Unfortunately, eliminating honeybees from your walls causes new problems if not done properly. You also have to get rid of any honeycombs the bees may have built. If you don’t, the honey will decay and then you’ll have a messy bacteria problem. Plus, if you don’t do away with the honeycomb when you get rid of the bees, new bees (that were away during treatment) will simply return and re-colonize due to the scent the honey leaves behind. (Bees know their own colony smell.)
Even though bees are important, they can be a serious health and/or property risk. If you think you have a bee problem, don’t wait to call Admiral Pest Control to come check it out. We have humane and environmentally friendly ways of removing bees from your property before we even consider spraying. It’s always better to be “BEE” safe than “BEE” sorry!