Integrated Pest Management for Bees

Pest Management In and Around Structures August 26, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

Honey bee Apis mellifera | Joseph Berger, Bugwood.org

Honeybees are social insects, living in colonies containing 60 to 120 thousand individual workers, a few hundred drones and a queen.  Like most bees and wasp they will defend their nests when disturbed.  Honeybees can only sting once because their barbed stinger remains in the individual or animal when stung causing the last segments of the honey bee to be ripped off, and death of the honeybee.  When disturbed a few hundred bees will emerge from the nest and attack the intruders.   Honeybees are our primary pollinators of 2/3 of the food we eat either directly or indirectly.  They gather nectar from flowers to make honey and collect pollen from flowers during pollination and use them for food.   When there are few nectar sources blooming honeybees will forage in any source that has sugar, from trash cans to soft drink cans to sweets like candy and fruits.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.