Are the Bees a Buzzin?

There’s a buzz around town and it’s not the ringing in your ears from Saturday night. Spring brings blue bonnets and flowers to life but it also brings bees to pollinate them.

Bees are our pollinator friends that help produce pollen, jelly, honey, and beeswax. There are many types of bees that help our ecosystem. Honey bees, bumble bees, and carpenter bees.


Honeybees vary in color. Brown-yellow, black, or brown with black bands around their abdomen. They are classified as social bees. This means they can live together. This type of bee lives in a honeycomb hive that has hexagon shaped cells that store pollen, nectar, and eggs.

Like ants, honeybees are separated into 3 categories. Queen, male (drone), and worker bees. The queen’s job is to lay eggs to build her colony. The drones fertilize the future queens and worker bees provide for and maintain the hive. They tend to the eggs and feed the larvae, queen, and males.

Worker bees leave the hive in search of nectar and pollen. These items are stored in separate areas on their body and brought back to store within the cells of the comb. Nectar is stored in a “honey sac” in the front part of the worker bees digestive system when transporting it back to the hive. It is regurgitated with an enzyme that when mixed together transforms the nectar into honey.

Worker honeybees are all female and are only aggressive when they or the hive are threatened. Only female bees sting. They possess a stinger at their hind end that has thorn-like stickers along the length of it. When stung, the stinger breaks off killing the bee, and leaving the stinger with a venom sac stuck into its victim.

Some bee stings can be fatal if the person is allergic. Seek medical attention if severe reactions occur: difficulty in breathing, swelling, rash, fever, or vomiting.

Bumble bees

Bumble bees are beneficial in pollinating but that’s about as far as it goes with this bee. These social yellow and black striped fuzzy bees are extremely aggressive if they feel threatened and have the most painful sting.

Unlike a honeybee, where it stings once and done, the bumble bee can sting over and over. This is because their venom filled stinger does not break off and they do not die after stinging.

Using already existing pest abandoned domains, bumble bees create their nests in various places. They can be inside trees, wall voids, eaves or soffits of your home, under garden mulch or lawn debris, or an old rodent burrow.

These bees pollinate and take nectar and pollen back to the nest like honeybees. However, bumble bees only make honey for themselves.

Once the colony is large enough with worker bees, the queen will begin reproducing drone and future queen eggs. These bees will leave the nest to mate with other colony bees. The fertilized queen will begin searching for a nest location for her new colony at the end of summer. She will store up pollen and nectar to build up fat to overwinter. She awakens in the spring to begin laying eggs to colonize her nest.

Carpenter bees

Carpenter bees are solitary bees. This means they nest by themselves and do not build a colony nest or hive. They do, however, build tunnels much like the carpenter ant. These bees chew through softened wood leaving a sawdust residue behind, similar to frass from a carpenter ant. The entrance of a carpenter bee nest is a perfectly round hole. No other wood damaging insect or pest creates something so perfect.

The nest tunnel of a carpenter bee consists of several chambers. Once the female has mated, she lays her eggs within these chambers and seals them off from each other. Each chamber is supplied with enough nectar and pollen for the larvae to feed on when they hatch. The mature bees chew their way out of the tunnel to begin the reproduction process themselves.

Even though carpenter bees are solitary bees, several queens can reside in the same area but in their own tunnels. This can create an infestation of carpenter bees and extensive damage to wood structures. Carpenter bee tunnels can be found in wood siding, fences, shingles, eaves, doors, and window sills. Just look for a shiny black bee with a greenish tint hanging around a perfectly round hole waiting on a mate.

If you see such a bee, you can follow it and see where it disappears. This is an indication of where it has built a nesting tunnel. If you suspect they have found their way indoors, you can listen to the walls for a buzzing noise.

Like other bees, carpenter bees do sting when threatened or handled. If you suspect an infestation of bees, it’s important to contact a professional.

Safe Earth Pest Control knows the importance our pollinator friends are to the ecosystem. We provide safe and affordable treatments for all your pest control needs. Give us a buzz today. 214-321-2847