Honey Bee

Actual Size: 1/2″

Characteristics: Golden brown and black with pale orange or yellow bands on their abdomen.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Worker bees, drones, and the queen bee live in hives with 20,000 to 80,000 individuals

Habits:

  • The honey bee is the most important species of pollinators
  • Honey bees are not typically aggressive and will only sting when provoked
  • Visits an average of 50-100 flowers on foraging trips for pollen

Honey Bees in SE Louisiana and Mississippi

Honey bees are famous for their honey-producing ability. Worker honey bees are the bees that people most commonly see. They are females that forage for good, build the hive, protect the hive, and more. There is a single queen bee. Honey bees often build their nests in tree crevices, but will occasionally build nests in attics or chimneys. Honey bees are found all over the nation, and pollinate more than 100 types of crops. The two main types are Africanized honey bees and European honey bees. The latter is much more aggressive than the former.

Honey Bee Nests

Honey bees often build their nests in tree crevices, but will occasionally build nests in attics or chimneys. Honey bees are most visible in summer and late spring when new queens leave their old colonies along with thousands of workers to build new nests in tree hollows or crevices. At this time, large groups of bees can be seen swarming together to find a new nesting place. It takes a swarm approximately 24 hours to locate a new nesting site. While most swarms are harmless, certain species of honey bees, like the Africanized honey bee, are extremely aggressive and may attack even when they’re unprovoked.

Honey Bee Habits & Dangers

Honey bees do sting, but can only sting once. Only female workers are capable of stinging and are not likely to sting when foraging for nectar and pollen in the backyard. Bee stings generally happen when these docile bees are provoked or accidentally crushed. The stinger of the honey bee, having barbs, will remain in the skin unless physically removed. The method of removing the stinger, either grasping with fingers, tweezers, or scraping from the skin, is not as important as removing the stinger as quickly as possible. 

If you notice honey bee activity or a beehive forming near or on your Louisiana property, always contact your local bee control company.