Tag Archives: wasps

Bee & Wasp Control: Infrastructure of a Bee’s Nest and Why You Don’t Want to Mess with It

bee and wasp control
As backyard entertaining brings the indoors outdoors this summer, your backyard or pool deck may play host to quite a few cookouts and pool parties. But sometimes, uninvited bees or wasps can disrupt summer fun activities. Because bees and wasps pose health threats to humans and pets, Truly Nolen recommends contacting a reliable and reputable professional pest control company to address your bee and wasp concerns.

Wild bee colonies Africanized

Also, with the sudden threat to honeybee populations worldwide, the thought of relocating a bee colony to an apiary may sound like a good idea to environmentally-aware homeowners but in Modern Farmer’s interview with Reed Booth, Southern Arizona’s Killer Bee Guy, Booth said beehives and nests found under eaves, in walls, in sheds and other places on homeowners’ properties should be eradicated as most wild bee colonies in the US have become Africanized. This means that due to the interbreeding of wild European honeybees with wild Africanized honeybees, the bees are much more aggressive and will attack people and pets. Pest professionals, such as Truly Nolen, know how to remove killer bees from your property, safely.

Honeybees vital to world’s crops and food supply

As the globe’s most important plant pollinators, honeybees play a vital role in contributing to over one-third of the planet’s food sources. Pollinating US crops at an estimated 10 billion dollars’ worth annually, honeybees produce honey collected from flower nectar. Bees depend on the honey they produce from flower nectars to nourish their young and provide sustenance for adult bees. While professional honey collection by beekeepers provides us with honey, beeswax, pollen, propolis and royal jelly, beekeeping is a highly specialized enterprise, conducted by trained apiarists.

Honeybee social structure

A honeybee colony’s highly sophisticated and social structure includes individuals performing specific tasks for the ultimate good of the colony. Divided into three castes, honeybee colonies consist of one queen, 20-80 thousand infertile female worker bees and 300 to 800 fertile male drones, whose only job description appears to be mating with the queen to produce more bees. Along with the adult bees, honeybee colonies also include about 500 eggs, along with 25-30 thousand immature bees in “various stages of development,” according to The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation’s website.

Inside the beehive

In familiar honeycomb-shaped nests, with their signature hexagonal shaped cells, worker bees raise the next generation of worker bees, in smaller cells at the bottom of the honeycomb. The upper, larger comb cells store pollen and honey to nourish the colony.

Sometimes nests require the construction of queen cells devoted to raising queen bees.

Worker bees

Even though they will never mate, the workers, do however “possess organs necessary for carrying out the many duties essential to the wellbeing of the colony,” says the FAO website article. Worker bees come equipped with:

  • Longer tongues than queens and drones used to extract nectar from flowers
  • Large honey stomachs for transporting nectar from plants to the hive
  • Pollen baskets on legs to carry pollen back to the hive
  • Glands in their heads that produce royal jelly to feed the larvae
  • Thorax glands that secrete enzymes needed to ripen honey
  • Four sets of wax glands for comb construction and sealing off honey cells
  • Highly developed stingers that allow them to defend the colony efficiently

Additionally, sterile female adults perform the bulk of the work in a bee colon. As immature bees, worker bees take care of the queen and the brood, performing these tasks and many duties inside the nest as house bees, including:

  • Cleaning the cells for future eggs
  • Cleaning the hive
  • Making sure the hive stays cool and ventilated for optimal honey production
  • Building comb cells for honey, water and propolis storage
  • Assisting in honey conversion
  • Packing the combs with supplies, including water, nectar and honey
  • Guarding the hive against all threats from other bees and predators
  • Performing orientation flights as training to become foraging field bees
  • Executing intruders or colony members marked as potential threats to the harmony of the hive

Executions “may be performed to eliminate strange bees, to kill or drive away old and sick bees, to discourage other hive predators from entering the hive, to remove sick or unwanted unemerged brood, to eliminate useless drones, and to kill unwanted or strange queens.”

As the FAO’s info on bees and wasps shows homeowners, bees and wasps do not play. They’re all business. The survival of a bee colony relies on delicately balancing a multitude of factors. For the good of the colony, bees and wasp will kill members of their own colonies, including their queen in order to maintain optimal hive conditions. In light of this information and observations, homeowners should steer clear and avoid attempting to remedy the problem on their own. Instead, homeowners should contact their local Truly Nolen location to schedule a free bee or wasp inspection, when bees and wasps move too close to human and pet living areas.

Entertaining outdoors can be a whole lot of fun this summer, without the threat of bees ruining your outdoor events. Contact Truly Nolen for all of your pest control concerns!

Yellow Jacket Infestations In Atlanta, Georgia

Yellow jackets are a common pest in the Atlanta, GA area — even our beloved Georgia Tech mascot Buzz is a yellow jacket. But last week, while a Georgia police officer was in pursuit of a suspect in the Brookhaven, GA area, the officer was stung over 100 times by a swarm of yellow jackets. The officer suffered a severe allergic reaction to the wasp stings and the attack left the officer hospitalized. Yellow jackets were later found in the officer’s shirt, pants, and mouth.

This recent attack reminds us of the dangers yellow jackets pose, particularly to those individuals that are allergic. Truly Nolen of Atlanta finds it important to share information about this type of wasp with our customers. We want to let you know what you can do to eliminate yellow jackets and their nests if you find them in or around your home.

What are Yellow Jackets?

Yellow jackets are a type of wasp. Wasps in general make up a wide range of insects with over 30,000 known species. Yellow jackets are often mistaken for bees, given their black and yellow body segments. However, you can typically identify yellow jackets by their pointed lower abdomens and thin waists. Yellow jackets have two wings that measure about 1.5 inches in length.

Social hunters, they typically live in colonies that contain workers, queens, and male drones. Workers and male drones both measure about ½ inch in length, however the queens are slightly larger (¾ inch).

Yellow jacket colonies are active for a year, with the queen emerging in late spring or early summer to choose a nesting site in which to lay her eggs. Yellow jackets are often considered a nuisance because nesting sites are often found close to the home. Generally, yellow jackets prefer to nest in a location that provides shelter from the elements. Some of the yellow jackets’ favorite nesting sites are under porch steps, along sidewalks and walkways, at the base of trees, and at the corners of buildings. The queen will often utilize a void in a wall or low-lying bush in which to create her nest.

The queen lives through the fall, constantly laying eggs inside the nest and feeding the larvae for a period of 18 to 20 days, until they reach maturity. Through this period the colony expands rapidly, reaching a maximum of 4,000 to 5,000 workers and containing 10,000 to 15,000 cells by the late summer. After the initial larvae mature, they take on the responsibility of feeding and caring for the other larvae. These infertile female workers forage for food and defend the growing colony as the queen continues to lay her eggs, which she will continue to do until her death. Once the colony has reached its peak size, new males and new queens are produced. These mature fertile females and males will leave the existing colony to reproduce, leaving their existing home abandoned.

Even if yellow jackets are proving to be a nuisance for you around your home, they are actually considered to be beneficial to the environment as they are responsible for eating other nuisance insects like beetles, grubs, and flies!

How to Get Rid of Yellow Jackets?

Yellow jacket infestations can be fairly common in residential areas. If you notice a few yellow jackets flying near your home, this might be a sign that that a nest is located nearby. Careful inspection of your home should be conducted in order to determine the nest’s location and determine steps to safely eliminate it. Nests are usually small in size but if left undisturbed, some can grow to be very large and house enormous populations.

To get rid of a yellow jacket infestation special precautions must be taken to prevent being stung, as yellow jackets will sting if they feel threatened. A severe allergic reaction can occur in individuals who are sensitive, as we saw in the case of the Brookhaven officer. Truly Nolen does not recommend the use of do-it-yourself products or attempting to remove any wasp nest on your own. For your safety, consult a qualified pest control professional. At Truly Nolen our trained technicians apply a fast acting natural product to the nest that works quickly to eliminate the colony all while keeping our customers safe.

Yellow Jacket Facts

  • Yellow jackets live in colonies and are social insects.
  • Nests can contain thousands of wasps.
  • Yellow jackets primarily eat fruit and plant nectars.
  • Yellow Jacket is a city in Colorado.
  • The Georgia Tech mascot is a yellow jacket named Buzz.
  • Yellow jacket stingers are found at the end of their abdomens.

Yellow Jacket Pictures

Yellow JacketYellow Jacket

Yellow Jacket Stings

The best way to avoid a wasp sting to is avoid both wasps and their nests. Wasps will usually only sting if they feel threatened or when their nest is disturbed but some will sting if they are swatted. Take extra care while eating and drinking outdoors because it is common for wasps to climb into soda cans and sting. If a sting does occur, the symptoms are usually short-lasting. The initial burn of the sting usually fades to tenderness and swelling. Wasp stings can be extremely dangerous for those allergic to them. If at any time you feel that the sting is serious, seek medical help as soon as possible.