You may have heard that honeybee populations in the United States are on the decline, resulting in a considerable increase in the price of local honey. Unless you consume a lot of honey, you may be wondering why you should care about bees. Aren’t they just annoying pests that build nests around your home and threaten to sting your children?
The truth is that honeybees aren’t even native to North America, but they, along with around 4,000 native species on the continent, are responsible for pollinating flowers and plants. Without these pollinators doing their job, humans and other animals would be robbed of about half of their plant food sources. As a result, bees are essential to all life on earth.
Native Versus Nonnative Bees
Native bees, such as bumblebees and orchard mason bees, have evolved over thousands of years to work in harmony with native plants and move pollen among them, helping flowers, vegetables, fruits and herbs grow. Many people are surprised to learn that honeybees are not a native species, but they are important to the ecosystem because they are used commercially to produce honey and pollinate crops. Africanized bees, which are sometimes referred to as “killer bees,” are another non-native species, but they actually pose a threat to the natural habitat. They will not attack the nests of native bees, but they will aggressively go after the hives of honeybees and destroy their colonies.
The Decline of Native Bees
In addition to the threat from Africanized bees, honeybee and native bee species are reducing in numbers for several possible reasons. Loss of habitat and the widespread use of pesticides are thought to be contributors to smaller native bee populations. Honeybees are also transported all over the country to pollinate various crops, and their decline may in part be attributed to the parasites and diseases they pick up on their travels, which can spread to native bees as well.
The Dangers of Bees
Most bees, even Africanized bees, will not sting you without provocation. In fact, many of our native bees do not sting at all. Keeping a garden full of native plants is a great way to help support native bees and the natural environment. However, if you are allergic to bees, you know how unsettling it can be to see them in your back yard. Africanized bees are notorious for nesting outside of homes in places such as eaves, meter boxes, and junk piles, and they will sting you if you disturb their nests. Whatever species of bee you find nesting near your home, it is a good idea to call a professional to help identify and remove the threat. Ideally, extermination should not be the objective of homeowners or pest control experts.
Bee Control in Orlando
The removal and extermination of bees is a job that is best left to a professional. For quality pest prevention methods that help protect your loved ones from aggressive species of bees, contact ABC Home & Commercial Services today.