Omaha Honey Bees: Good for Agriculture, Bad for your House

There’s no doubt that honey bees are extremely valuable due to their important role as pollinators. More than 100 crops, including onions, broccoli, blueberries, and strawberries, rely on honey bees. In fact, honey bees contribute more than 15 million to U.S. agriculture production. Despite providing millions of dollars in honey and beeswax products, in addition to their agricultural contributions, honey bees are a hazard.

Honey Bees in the News

Honey bees and their declining numbers have been a real concern for many in the agricultural industry. The decline is referred to as Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD. CCD is when an entire colony of bees simply disappears. There are several contributing factors to CCD, including disease, however pesticides are viewed as a significant reason for CCD. With honey bee colonies facing a 30% annual failure rate in North America, a renewed interest in beekeeping is growing among those concerned about the honey bee’s future.

Honey Bees in the House

While your neighbor may be one of the many to establish beekeeping in their backyard, it is important that they don’t make their way to your house. While unlikely, one can’t be too careful, especially if there are family members who are allergic to bees.

The Good News

Beekeepers use wooden, manufactured hives but the most natural place for honey bees to nest is in a voided space. Attics or wall spaces sometimes attract honey bees. Honey bees do not chew or eat wood and because of this, there is little structural damage. This is very good news as there are many worse types of insects to have in your home’s walls; carpenter bees for example, are much more destructive than honey bees.

The Bad News

No one wants to live with bees in their walls, even if they are good and endangered bees. Removal of a honey bee hive is not something to attempt on your own. It is imperative to trust a trained professional with the hive removal. And while the bees themselves are not destructive, professionals will remove any remaining honey to avoid destruction and staining of the inside walls. Removing any nest debris is also important in order to avoid attracting rodents and other insects. Having bees within your walls may make you anxious. It is best to remain calm and call a trained professional to handle the removal.

Honey Bees Have a Place in the World

Honey bees have an important place in the world in not only agriculture but also in the economy. Where honey bees do not have a place is in your home. While important bees, the fact remains that they do sting. In fact, honey bees are the only bees to die after stinging a person. Once a honey bee’s stinger punctures the skin, the bee is unable to pull it out without losing part of its body. The female worker bees are the ones that sting and once they do, a scent is released that serves as a warning to the hive that a threat is near. Unlike wasps and hornets, honey bees are typically more easy-going and only attack when provoked.

Honey on the Table, Not in the Walls

Honey is a great addition to any meal but we can all agree it belongs on the table and not within your walls. Once a hive is removed, it is important to remember to remove any remaining honey. Be sure to have a trained professional check for anything left behind, especially a gooey, sticky mess.

With honey bees facing a decline in population, one may be hesitant to have a hive removed from a home’s walls or attic. Just remember that a controlled hive managed by a trained beekeeper will produce a better (and more accessible) honey that any grown within your home. Put your family’s safety first and contact us today.