Bees and their Nests
A bee nest is often called a beehive by most people. But they both are different. A beehive is a man-made structure that keeps a honeybee nest, wherein a bee nest is a bee-made structure that is built naturally and is usually hanging and exposed.
A bee nest on your property can put you, your loved ones, and the people nearby at risk of being stung by bees. If left unnoticed and untreated, a bee nest could get bigger and produce a swarm that is potentially lethal to anyone in and around the premises, including your pets and humans, who may be allergic to bee stings.
That said, not all bee nests are identical. Every bee species builds different types of nests. Some people often confuse wasp nests with bee nests. During a bee infestation, identification of the nest type and the bee species is crucial to remove it accordingly.
So, if you:
- found a nest near your premises and not sure if it is a bee nest;
- if you see a bee nest but unsure of the type of bees;
- or just curious to know more about bee nests.
Then, keep scrolling!
Natural nests are built by the female bees or the worker bees. Nests are usually made on hollow trees, rock cavities, and at times in caves. Nests are ideally exposed that are found hanging on a tree. Each nest contains cells where the queen can place eggs that will develop and grow to become adult bees. One nest may contain multiple honeycombs that are parallel to each other.
Each bee nest varies by species, and the structural design also differs, which makes it difficult to identify the bee nest.
Let’s take a look at the nest identification based on the type of bees.
Bee Nest Identification
- Ground bee nests: The nests of ground bee are soil mounds with large openings, which is quite similar to anthills. However, the latter has a relatively smaller opening. The ground bee queens live individually and do not form hives. The entrances to their nests are patches or small mounds of bare soil.
- Honey bee nests:Honey bees prefer to build nests and shelter in hollow trees, caves, rock cavities, hive boxes, or other man-made hives. However, they will never build nests at ground level or on the ground. Honeybee nests are created using wax secreted from their abdomen.
- Bumble Bee Nests: The nests of bumblebee look like piles of debris because they are lined with insulating material such as animal fur, housing insulation, or leaves. The population of the bumblebee colony is relatively smaller than honey bees, with around 50 to 400 members. The nest location varies depending on the bumblebee subspecies. Some prefer to nest underground. For example, under sheds, in abandoned rodent holes, and compost heaps. While other subspecies prefer to nest above ground, such as in lofts, thick grass, bird boxes, and trees.
- Africanized Killer Bees: These deadly bees are less selective about their nesting site as their colony size is small. Their nests can be found in any location, such as trees, utility poles, junk piles, meter boxes, mailboxes, overturned flower pots, tires, crates, tree limbs, holes in the ground, and empty cars.
The above-furnished information is vital to identify the bee nest type you find in and around your home. That said, bee nest removal is strictly not a DIY task. Under no circumstances should you attempt to get rid of the nest on your own. Bees can get extremely aggressive if they feel threatened and may launch an attack on you. Therefore, it is always best to keep a safe distance from the bee nest and call a pest control professional to remove and relocate the beehive safely.