“I was happy. They did a great job at a fair price.” -Cindy, Tampa

Q: Are they honeybees or some other kind of bee?

A: Honeybees are shades of brown with black stripes on the abdomen. They are similar in size to Yellowjackets and fly in a similar fashion. It’s difficult to tell the difference if you are not used to looking at them. Yellowjackets have a deeper yellow with black contrast on their bodies. Take a look at the following pictures to see the difference.

Honeybee on Left is shades of brown while Yellowjacket is bright contrasting yellow-black.

Q: Does the Africanized honeybee look different than the ordinary honeybees that live around here?

A: Africanized honeybees look no different than the ordinary European honeybees that have been brought to this country by the early settlers. The Africanized honeybee or killer bee resulted as a cross between species of honeybees brought to Brazil from Africa with species of bees from European ancestry. It requires specialized equipment to differentiate between them.

Q: Is there a danger to not having bees removed? Can I just leave them there?

A: The danger of leaving honeybees in a populated area is that here in Florida with the known presence of the Africanized honeybee there is a strong possibility that the European colony could eventually be taken over by an Africanized swarm.

Q: Will the honeybees that have established themselves in my house go away by themselves?

A: Under normal circumstances swarms that become established inside a structure will not go away once they build honeycombs and raise young. They may appear to go away at certain times of the year when there are warm temperatures and lots of flowers blooming and leave in mass to find a new home. But what has happened is that the queen has left with enough attendants to find a new home and the bees remaining raise a new queen to continue living in the now roomy space.

Q: If there are honeycombs in my building what kind of problems will I have if I don’t have them removed after killing the bees living there?

A: The main problem here in Florida is from the presence of a small scavenger beetle that lives with honeybees called the Hive Beetle that feeds on the combs after the bees are gone. It lays eggs that turn into larvae that eat the combs causing any honey in them to run down the walls and enter living quarters if not removed.

Q: What do honeycombs look like?

A: Honeycombs start out as an almost white wax made by young bees that discolors in time to a dark brown as bees travel on it to raise young and store their food in it.

This is an example of young honeycomb around 1 month old. The light white wax at the top is a cap of wax that covers the honey. The dark cells are filled with pollen.

Q: What is to keep honeybees from coming back once they are removed?

A: This is one of the most important questions anyone can ask who has a bee problem. It is essential to make sure that the space that the bees lived in is sealed from access by future bees that will visit it as they smell of the residue of the combs.

Q: Explain how you treat my bee problem.

A: First we visually assess the situation locating where  exactly the bees are living, taking into consideration construction issues. Then we determine the best course of action with the approval of the person in charge. We can do live extractions of bees where feasible or eradicate them if it is too damaging to property or economically too costly. We employ environmentally friendly insecticides that are safe for people, animals and the environment.

Safety of persons and property is our first consideration in deciding on any treatment type. If it is necessary to remove combs we do so after getting permission from the person in charge. We make every attempt to repair and replace material removed to allow access to combs.

We treat the affected area with longer term insecticides and seal to prevent reinfestation.

Q: You removed the bees, why are there still bees flying around?

A: It is normal for foraging bees that have left the hive to return and not be able to enter where they lived because the entrance is sealed. As a result they will hover around the entrance area until they get tired and land. It is the nature of Honeybees and Yellowjackets to remain at this place and not move on to a new home.

Q: What are you doing about that problem?

A: In anticipation of this problem we treat the area where the bees lived with a residual insecticide that will eradicate the bees over the following days. There should be no more bee activity after 2 days or so. If there is then please call us.