It’s that time a year again. Honey Bees are swarming! Bee swarms should not be killed indiscriminately. Bees are beneficial insects, helping pollinate flowers and vegetables. Unless a swarm is causing a distinct problem and cannot be tolerated, it should be left alone. Most honey bee swarms will leave a resting site within a few hours. Eliminating possible points of entry by bees into buildings and removing other potential nest sites is the best way to prevent serious problems with bees around structures.
From the Kids Out and About Website comes this information, and more is available just by clicking on the link.
It’s critical that we all understand the importance of the magnificent honey bees. Without honey bees, the world would be in real trouble. They pollinate 70 different types of the 100 crop species that make up most of the world’s food. The truth is that the world may already have a problem. Honey bees have been dying out inexplicably in some regions. They have been leaving their beehives in the winter when they should be hibernating and dying in the cold. Scientists hypothesize that this is happening in part because people are afraid of bees and often spray dangerous chemicals to kill hem.
Are you afraid of bees? It’s important to know that most bees will not sting you unless you swat at them or threaten them first. Still, there are indeed some bees that are more aggressive and could leave you with a nasty sting. So you want to be able to tell the difference.
Adults and children alike can remember things about bees this way:
- Fuzzy bees are fun to look at, but don’t touch.
- Shiny bees can surely sting so stay away.
- Fuzzy bees: Fun to watch. Shiny bees: Stay away.
Remember too that size does not matter. Large bees can be very social and some small wasps can swarm and be very mean. The best thing to do is learn where bees nest and avoid disturbing them. Some safety tips:
- Always wear shoes when playing in the grass
- Don’t kick old logs or rotten fruits and vegetables laying on the ground
- Never throw rocks or sticks at large hives hanging from tree branches
- Don’t poke sticks or fingers into holes in wood structures or trees
- Never try to catch a bee or keep one captive
- If a bee flies close to you, just stay still until it passes. Once it knows you are not a flower it will move along
Parents, if you suspect there is a nest of stinging bees or wasps nearby, look into safe ways to remove the nests without using pesticides. Pesticides are also a common killer of hummingbirds, which aren’t much bigger than some large bees. So if you like the birds, don’t spray the bees.