Spring is the season when people in cold climates emerge from a winter spent shivering indoors and venture outside to soak up the sun. Unfortunately, bees and other insects work on the same schedule. That means people and bees are often competing for a seat on the same sunny park bench or backyard deck. Some simple tips from experts can help you understand what the bees want, share our open spaces and avoid getting stung in the process.
Make sure those are bees
Before running out to the hardware store for a can of bug spray, try to identify the type of insect, recommended the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. Honey bees and bumble bees have thick, hairy bodies, easily distinguished from the sleek, shiny bodies of wasps and hornets. As the weather warms, bees may swarm when a single queen leaves her hive accompanied by hundreds of worker bees in search of a new home. The swarm may clump together and hang under a branch or roof for several hours as their scouts look for prime real estate.
Bees are important pollinators of all the food we eat and the flowers we enjoy, UNH noted, so try waiting a day or two before spraying the swarm. It will probably form its new hive in a hollow tree or other hidden spot and leave you alone.
Cap your trash can
Once they've moved into a new home, honey bees will start to search for food, according to agriculture specialists at the University of Kentucky. They prefer the nectar and pollen in flowers, but will gladly settle for sweet stuff like sugar and fruit juice. That can create a nuisance for people enjoying a lunch break in a crowded city park, but it also presents some simple solutions for insect control.
Use careful sanitation around trash bins and recycling containers, and you will remove the tempting food those bees are seeking, the UK experts pointed out. Line your trash cans with plastic bags and keep lids on containers. The key is to always keep those trash areas clean, because bees are highly social insects that will quickly bring along their friends to a new food source.
Call in the pros
If you must get rid of a persistent swarm, or if a new hive has moved into the hollow walls of your building, call in a local beekeeper or professional pest control service. Try contacting a pest management company like Abell Pest Control for the best plan.