Mid-March to early July is considered the typical bee swarming season in the United States. During this season, bees begin collecting pollen to feed and store for the upcoming winter season.
At this point, the hive population is abundant because the queen bee ensures a workforce large enough to sustain the colony. Consequently, the hive can become overcrowded, causing the group to split into two separate colonies. This action puts many homeowners at risk of getting unwanted hives on their properties.
The group of bees that will leave will be in search of a suitable area to nest, which can sometimes be a home. Structures, buildings and other objects that provide shelter on a property can become new homes for bee colonies.
Understand The Swarm Process
When a bee colony splits, a new queen will take over the existing hive and the older queen will take a portion of the worker bees and some male drones as they search for a new home. This newly assembled group is known as a swarm.
The swarm will leave the hive and the existing group on a tree branch, bush or another object while a few selected bees, known as scouts, search the surrounding area for an ideal nesting place. As long as there is a swarm on your property, your home is in danger. The group of bees will temporarily rest and move on, or they will find a cozy place and declare your property as their permanent nesting place.
After the scout bees have surveyed the surrounding area, they will report their findings to the swarm. To communicate the distance and direction of the potential new home, the scout bees will perform a "dance" known as the wiggle dance.
Protecting Your Home From Unwanted Hives
Bees can enter any structure or object that contains a hole of a quarter-inch or more. A common bee prevention technique is to seal off all possible bee entrances with durable materials, such as metal screens and caulk. However, once there is a swarm on your property, you may not have enough time to identify and seal off all potential entry points for bees.
An effective substitute is to treat your home for scout bees to prevent them from informing the swarm of the possible nesting site. As a result, the swarm will move to another location. The trick, however, is to act quickly, as the bees can come in suddenly.
Reducing outdoor clutter can also prevent bees from nesting in your yard. Unused appliances or lawn equipment found on patios can attract bees as they provide enough shelter for a hive to thrive.
Also, if your home has had a problem with bees, remove the honeycomb, as the pheromone scents that are left on it can attract newcomers. Usually, the honeycomb will be located in an inaccessible area like gaps in the walls or eaves. So, it may be necessary to remove parts of your roof or siding.
Why Did the Bees Choose My Home?
While proper shelter and previous problems with bees can be the main cause of a hive on your property, it can be difficult to determine the exact attractant. Other reasons may include favorable microclimates or abundant vegetation, as bees prefer to be in close proximity to a food source.
A bee problem can be caused by one of these factors, a combination of them or none of the above.
A recent analysis of bee removal inquiries in Southern California was conducted to identify which areas were most susceptible to bee problems. Coastal towns that generally have temperate climates and cities close to rural areas and farmland appear to be more likely to have colonies of honey bees that need to be removed.
Where bees choose to live is generally out of their control. However, you can assume that if bees have been in your home before, then your home is more prone to a future colony of unwanted honey bees. So, be sure to take preventative measures to prevent bee problems from returning.
If you find a beehive on your property that you want to get rid of or if you want to prevent them from coming in the first place, contact Pinpoint Pest Control today.