Honey Bees

Types of Honey Bees

There are three types of honey bees in a beehive and each of them provides a significant contribution to the success of the hive. 

QUEEN BEE

Queen Honey Bee

The queen is the largest bee in the hive. She constantly lays eggs to replace the hive's population. Each hive typically only has one queen at a time.

DRONE BEE

Drone Honey Bee

Drones are distinguished by their box-shaped bodies. They do not forage or protect the hive. Their sole purpose is to mate with the queen.

WORKER BEE

Worker Honey Bee

Worker bees forage, protect the hive, raise the brood, attend to the queen, & more. There are more workers in a hive than other types of bees.

Honey Bee Swarms

Why do honey bees swarm?

Honey bees swarm because they are either creating a new colony or changing locations. A swarm typically contains between 10,000 and 60,000 bees. Contrary to popular belief however, honey bees are very docile when swarming and do not present any threat to humans as long as the cluster is not provoked.

Honey Bee Swarm
Honey Bee Swarm Removal

Do Swarms Cause Any Damage?

Swarms can cause damage to structures over time and should be removed by a beekeeper as soon as possible. Swarm removals can be as simple as cutting tree branches or as complicated as removing chimneys, walls, or floorboards. Regardless of the circumstances, please do not use pesticides or do anything that will kill the bees. Most local beekeepers have all the tools and expertise necessary to safely remove the them thus saving more bees.

What Do I Do If Find a Swarm?

  1. ​Stay calm and do not disturb the cluster (DO NOT SPRAY!)
  2. Report the swarm to a local beekeeper or the nearest beekeepers association
  3. Give the bees adequate space until they can be removed

Report a swarm (Utah or Salt Lake Counties)

Bear Country Bees Swarm Removal

Bee Stings

The Two Types of Stingers

Stingers are the main line of defense (or attack) for bees and are generally broken down into two categories: barbed and un-barbed. Worker honey bees have barbed stingers which can only be used once before it kills them whereas queen bees are equipped with un-barbed stingers that can be used multiple times. Drone bees do not have stingers. Wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets have the same un-barbed stingers as queen bees.


Treating Bee Stings

When a bee stings, it releases venom from their venom sack, typically causing mild discomfort and swelling. In the case on a severe allergic reaction, bee stings can result in extreme pain, massive swelling, and restricted breathing. For your safety and the safety of others, it’s important that you understand basic treatments for bee stings.

Honey Bee Communication

Bees have several fascinating communication methods including releasing pheromones to signal hive defense needs or performing the “Waggle Dance” to communicate the location of nectar sources.

The Waggle Dance

Pollination

Without honey bees, very little pollination would occur potentially leaving us with shortages of crops such as apples, almonds, cherries, avocados, onions, oranges, and more. It is estimated that honey bees pollinate over $15 billion worth of crops each year in the U.S.

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