Honey Bee

The Honey Bee


The honey bee, Apis mellifera, is a crucial pollinator in agricultural systems, contributing to the production of numerous crops. However, in certain contexts, honey bees can be considered pests. This profile provides a comprehensive overview of honey bees, including their identification, life cycle, behavior, and potential management strategies when they become problematic.


  • Appearance: Honey bees are small, flying insects with a distinct yellow and black striped body. They have a pair of transparent wings, six legs, and antennae. Worker bees (females) are about 12-15 mm long, while drones (males) are slightly larger, and the queen is the largest at about 18-20 mm.
  • Distinctive Features: Unlike some other bees and wasps, honey bees have a hairy body, which aids in pollen collection.

Life Cycle

  • Egg Stage: The queen lays eggs in the hive’s cells. Worker bees care for the eggs.
  • Larval Stage: After hatching, larvae are fed royal jelly initially and then bee bread (a mixture of pollen and honey). This stage lasts about six days.
  • Pupal Stage: The larva spins a cocoon and transforms into a pupa, undergoing metamorphosis. This stage lasts about 12 days.
  • Adult Stage: Emergence as an adult bee, with roles varying by caste (queen, worker, drone). Worker bees live about six weeks during active seasons but can live several months over winter.
Pest Profile Honey Bee


  • Foraging: Honey bees forage for nectar and pollen, which are essential for hive sustenance. They are known for their “waggle dance,” which communicates the location of food sources to other bees.
  • Swarming: A natural process where a queen and a group of workers leave the hive to form a new colony. This can lead to bees establishing nests in undesirable locations.
  • Stinging: Honey bees sting as a defense mechanism. Worker bees can sting only once, as their barbed stinger results in their death after use. Queens can sting multiple times.

Pest Context

  • Structural Concerns: Bees may nest in walls, attics, or other structures, causing damage and potentially leading to costly repairs.
  • Health Risks: Stings can cause allergic reactions, ranging from mild irritation to severe anaphylactic shock in sensitive individuals.
  • Economic Impact: While they are generally beneficial, uncontrolled swarming and nesting in commercial areas can disrupt operations and cause financial losses.

Management Strategies

  • Prevention
    • Seal Entry Points: Inspect and seal potential nesting sites in buildings.
    • Regular Inspections: Monitor for early signs of nesting to address issues promptly.

  • Non-Chemical Control
    • Professional Beekeeping Services: Contact local beekeepers to safely relocate hives.
    • Traps and Barriers: Use bee-proof mesh and traps to prevent nesting in sensitive areas.

  • Chemical Control
    • Pesticides: As a last resort, use insecticides specifically labeled for bees, following all safety guidelines. This should be done by professionals to avoid harming non-target species and the environment.

  • Habitat Modification
    • Remove Attractants: Ensure that potential food sources, such as exposed sweets and floral attractants, are minimized around human activity zones.

Importance in Ecosystems

Despite their potential as pests, honey bees play a critical role in pollination, which supports biodiversity and food production. Any management approach should balance the need to mitigate their pest impact with conservation considerations.

Summary Of Honey Bee

Honey bees are an essential part of our ecosystem, providing invaluable services through pollination. However, their tendency to nest in close proximity to humans can occasionally pose problems. Effective management involves preventative measures, professional intervention, and responsible use of control methods to ensure safety and ecological balance. Get’Em Out Wildlife Control provides expert services to implement these strategies, ensuring both the protection of your property and the preservation of wildlife.

Get a Quote

"*" indicates required fields

Rent or Own*

Watch Us In Action