Bees will travel quite a distance from their hives to seek food. Seeing these pollinators is common and even a welcome sight, especially for gardeners. When you're seeing a high rate of activity and high numbers of bees, it could mean there's a hive nearby.
Bees will take up residence in a variety of spaces. Hives have been found in walls of houses as well as trees and porches, just to name a few common places. It's not recommended to seek out a hive if you suspect there's one nearby. Let a professional handle it. If you do happen upon a hive here's a list of some important steps to take.
Give the Bees Space
If you find a hive, keep your distance. Bees are very protective of their hives and will be more likely to swarm and attack any threats to their home. Even if you see a hive but don’t see any activity, there could still be a colony of bees living in it. Depending on the time of day bees will be inactive and won't be visible on or around their hive. It's best to assume it is occupied and keep pets and children at a distance.
Watch From a Safe Distance
It is possible that you've found a non-active hive. Bees tend to be more active during the early morning hours throughout the late afternoon. If you can view it from a distance, watch for any signs of activity during these times. If no activity is seen and the hive is in a low traffic location where it's easy to avoid then you may consider leaving it alone. If in a higher traffic area such as a porch or nearby tree it's advisable to have a professional check it out.
Identify the Type of Hive
If you can safely do so, take a picture of the hive and do a little research. Wasp nests are typically paper-like and thin in structure, smaller and are more out in the open. Bee hives usually are hidden within a structure such as within the base of a tree or other structure which provides an enclosed den type of space for them to build their hives in. They are larger and more populated than a typical wasp nest.
Call a Professional
Although many bees and even wasps are beneficial insects, they sometimes make their nests in inconvenient areas. If you find a hive and need it assessed and removed, call a professional. These insects will usually mind their own business if left undisturbed, but if they are threatened a swarm may exit the hive to defend it. This can be especially dangerous to those with allergies to bees and wasps. Give removal should never be attempted by anyone other than a professional. They will know what species they're dealing with and how to relocate a colony of beneficial honey bees.
If you're experiencing any pest problems or have a beehive you need removed contact Eagle Pest Services to assess the situation. Our professionals will know the best course of action to ensure the safety of your family while preserving the value of bees as they relate to nature.