For a number of years now, attention has been given to bee populations across the country, which have been steadily declining or disappearing altogether. While an undesirable presence during a hike or picnic, bees play a vital part in our ecosystems (not to mention honey production), and the lessening of their numbers is a serious concern. A number of factors appear to contribute to it, including mite infestations, harsh winters, and certain pesticides being used on crops. To try and gain a better understanding of this trend, the Bee Informed Partnership released a recent survey, showing where bee populations were being most negatively impacted.
For the first time, summer losses of bee colonies hit 42.1%, compared to winter losses of 23.1%. Dennis vanEngelsdorp, assistant professor of entomology at the University of Maryland and project director for the Bee Informed Partnership, had this to say on the numbers: “We traditionally thought of winter losses as a more important indicator of health, because surviving the cold winter months is a crucial test for any bee colony. But we now know that summer loss rates are significant too. This is especially so for commercial beekeepers, who are now losing more colonies in the summertime compared to the winter. Years ago, this was unheard of.”
While scientists continue to struggle to understand what’s happening to bee colonies, here are some methods you can employ to keep these insects under control when they’re present as pests.
Bee Pest Control Tips
1. Know Your Bees
There are a number of different types of bees that can affect people and property, from the rather harmless bumblebee to carpenter bees, which can be destructive to wooden materials. Identifying the type of pest you’re dealing with is crucial to taking next steps.
2. Clean Indoors
Bees can be drawn to open food sources, spills, and other contaminants. Clean up your kitchen, pantry, and other open areas where food might be attracting pests in order to avoid attracting more.
3. Property Protection
Bees can find their way into homes and other properties through small holes in walls, vents, and screens. Check your property for these things and repair them in order to repel any potential pests.
4. Clean Old Nests
If you’ve had bees nesting in your home, once they’re removed, be sure to thoroughly clean the area. Bees leave a scent that can draw other colonies to your property and must be eradicated as quickly as possible.
Contact OmniShield today to learn more about bee pest management.