The UnBEElievable Life of Bees
If you’ve seen a few bees in your yard, it’s reason to celebrate!
The unbelievable life of bees is an important part of our food supply. Americans consume 285 million pounds of honey annually!
In addition to honey, they are important to our food supply as they pollinate as many as 80% of our crops including plants, flowers, and produce. [Source]
That doesn’t mean they aren’t pests.
If you see bees traveling by the hundreds or thousands, seek shelter and call Budget Brothers Termite and Pest Elimination.
A bee’s life revolves around the queen bee. She’s the one who lays eggs, essentially controlling the size of the hive. Without her, the worker bees don’t know what to do.
During cooler months, when temperatures dip below 50 degrees, honeybees form a winter cluster in the middle of the hive, constantly flapping their wings, keeping the queen bee warm and safe. In the springtime she will lay as many as 2,000 eggs per day, more than her own body weight, increasing the size of the colony exponentially.
Without her, there will be no offspring in the springtime.
More importantly, without a queen a hive cannot survive.
While workers and drones give off pheromones, it’s the queen bee’s pheromones that are most important to the life of the hive. She directs the working, feeding, and breeding.
When the colony gets so big that the queen’s pheromones are no longer received by worker bees, they think she is gone and they begin the process to produce a new queen. Since a hive cannot exist with two queens, as many as half the bees will move to start a new colony.
As they travel to their new location, bees travel in a swarm surrounding their queen. They want to be sure she is safe and unharmed.
In Arizona our bees have been Africanized meaning they are more aggressive and territorial than average honeybees.
You might see a swarm on a tree or your house. There have also been swarm sightings on cars or patio furniture. If you see a swarm, leave it alone. It’s likely to move to another destination.
Signs of Bees
Have you been in your pool in the summer and seen a cloud of bees?
That’s a sign of a hive nearby. Leave the bees alone and observe where they go. They’re likely heading back to their hive.