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How to get rid of bees

Information, facts and resources to help you deal with an infestation of bees and, if the worst happens, how to destroy the bees and prevent this household pests return.

Honey Bees

What does a bee look like?

honey bee

Honey Bee

Honey Bee Description

  • Honey Bees are flying insects.
  • Honey Bees body parts are the head, the thorax and the abdomen.
  • Honey Bees have six legs, a three part body, a pair of antennae, compound eyes, jointed legs and a hard exo-skeleton.
  • Honey Bees bodies are typically banded black and yellow (gold), or dark brown and yellow (gold).
  • The Honey Bee Queen will live for approxiamately two years, the other bees, the drones and the workers have much shorter lifespans.
  • The size of the Honey Bee worker is 2/5 to 3/5 inches (5-15mm). Drones are larger 3/4 to 5/8 inches and the Queen Bee is 3/5 to 3/4 inch long.
  • The worker honey bee is the bee most likely to be seen away from the hive, on its business of collecting nectar and honey for the hive.

Where do bees live?

  • Honey Bees are social insects and live in colonies.
  • A colony of Honey Bees will include a queen bee, drones and worker bees.
  • Honey Bees also live in hives and are kept for the excess honey they produce.
  • A typical hive may contain in excess of 20,000 honey bees.
  • The Honey Bees habitat is around flowers and flowering trees.

What are the signs of a bee infestation?

  • Bee swarms are sometimes seen and then settle in trees or outbuildings.

What do bees eat?

  • Bees collect and feed on nectar and pollen from flowers.
  • Bees convert excess nectar to honey and store this as a food reserve for the winter.

Why must bees be controlled?

  • The European honey bee is used in agriculture for crop pollination and honey production.
  • Honey bees are unlikely to sting when gathering nectar and pollen from flowers, but will sting in defense if provoked.
  • The sting of a honey bee is barbed and the stinger usually remains in the skin when the insect leaves.
  • If the stinger is removed within 15 seconds of the bee sting, the severity of the bee sting will be reduced.
  • This is because the bee stinger continues to release poison into the skin for up to 60 seconds after the stinger has broken off the bee.
  • Honey Bees are very unlikely to sting unless provoked. Stinging for the honey bee is an act of self-sacrifice, as invariably, the sting will remain in the victim and the honey bee dies as a result of losing its sting.

How can I get rid of bees?

  • Bee swarms can be discouraged from settling and will move on but this can be very risky! A better strategy is to allow the bee swarm to settle undisturbed and contact a local bee keepers club or organisation who will be glad to come along and collect and remove the swarm of bees.
  • If undisturbed, Honey Bee swarms will usually leave on their own after a couple of days.
  • If the Honey Bees have established a permanent colony in your home it may be neccessary to engage a professional pest control operator to exterminate the swarm.

How can I prevent honey bees from returning?

  • Honey Bee Swarms are a natural hazard!
  • Contact a local beekeeping club to remove a swarm that settles on your property.

Bee Poisons and Bee Pesticides

  • Honey Bees are beneficial to flowers and many plants as they act as polinators.
  • Honey Bees collect pollen on the small hairs of their hind legs as they travel from flower to flower in their search for nectar. This action fertilizes the flowers and enables the plant to produce seeds.

The "Green Option" - Environmentally friendly control of Bees

  • Liase with your local bee club. They will quite likely be interested in collecting a bee swarm from your property.
  • To avoid Honey Bee stings - avoid wearing brightly coloured clothing and perfume when bees (or any stinging insect) are numerous.

Honey Bees : Household Pests

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