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The Remarkable Honey Bee

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Do you have a garden on your Maryland property? If you do, you’ve probably seen a few honey bees around.  These insects are nothing to be afraid of; it’s true that they can sting if provoked, but as long as you leave them alone, they will most likely leave you alone too. Honey bees are quite beneficial insects and having them on your property can be a good thing, especially if you have flowering plants or trees that need pollination. 

What are honey bees? You can recognize honey bees by their distinctive coloring; they are typically golden, brown or even grey. They are also furry; having fur on their bodies help keep them warm all winter. They have three body segments: 

The head – it is heart-shaped and has large, multi-faceted eyes that have hair with long slender antenna.

The thorax- this is the middle section; the wings (4) and legs (6) are attached to the thorax.

And the abdomen- female bees possess a sting on their abdomen as well as special pollen-carrying hairs that look like broom bristles. Sometimes these hairs are on the underside of the abdomen or on the back legs. 

Honey bees range between 12 and 15 millimeters long and they are prized for their ability to transfer pollen from plant to plant, flower to flower while they collect nectar. They are also prized for their ability to make honey, which is the gooey, amber liquid that they make from the nectar they collect.  Bees collect nectar with their long, tube-like tongues; this nectar is then transferred to their ‘honey stomachs’. When they return to the hive, other worker bees suck the honey out of the collecting bee’s honey stomach and then ‘chew’ the nectar around for awhile. This breaks up the nectar into simple sugars as well as adds enzymes to the nectar, making it more digestible for bees and making it less likely to be attacked by bacteria while stored in the hive. Once it has been chewed by the worker bees, it’s deposited into the honeycombs, where water evaporates from it and it’s made into thicker syrup. When it’s at the right consistency, the bees will seal off the cell of the honeycomb with wax and then it is stored by the hive until it’s needed for food. 

Honey bees are truly remarkable creatures; having them on your property is not a problem, unless you find that they are nesting INSIDE your home. Then their expanding hives can prove to be a problem for the structure of your home as well as for your own feelings of well-being. Should you notice a beehive nesting inside your home, contact a bee removal specialist to have the hive removed. Otherwise, if you only have bees nesting on your property and they are not causing you any harm, leave them “bee” and your Maryland garden will never look better! 

At American Pest, we can offer you stinging insect nest removal around your D.C., Maryland or Virginia home or business. Serving these areas since 1925, American Pest can offer you effective pest control services that are effective and suited to your individual needs. Contact today for more information on the services they provide.