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Bumble Bees

What do bumble bees look like?

bumble bee in illinois home

Worker bumble bees grow to between 1/2  and 1 inch in length. The queens grow to be slightly larger- 3/4 to 1 inch in length. Bumble bees have an oval shaped body and a distinctive fuzzy look. They are black with yellow stripes; some species might have orange or red stripes. You can tell the difference between males and females by the shape of the abdomen - females have a pointed abdomen, males have a rounded abdomen. Another difference between the two is that females are equipped with a smooth stinger that allows them to sting their victim multiple times while male bumble bees do not have a stinger.

Where are bumble bees found?

In the spring, a fertile queen will emerge from her overwintering spot and find a spot to build her new nest. They will typically build their nests in safe areas that are either below the ground or as close to the ground as possible. Common nesting sites include inside burrows that have been abandoned by other animals, under piles of organic debris, under woodpiles, or in the spaces found behind the siding of homes and other buildings. Once she builds her nest, she will lay eggs and gather nectar and pollen to feed the larvae when they hatch. Once the larvae go through several molts, they become adults and are the first generation of workers for the new colony. They work to increase the size of the nest and to collect food for the new members of the colony they are developing.

In late summer, the current queen starts to produce reproductive males and the females that will be next year’s queens. In the fall, the males and new queens will emerge from the nest to mate. The now fertile female will find a safe place to overwinter, and the males and rest of the members of the colony will die. A new nest and colony is created each spring.

What do bumble bees eat?

Bumbles bees live on a diet of plant nectar and pollen. The workers spend their short life (about a month) finding and gathering nectar and pollen to feed themselves and the immature members of their colony.

DIY bumble bee prevention and control tips

It is impossible to predict where bumble bees will decide to create their nest, but you can help to prevent them from nesting too close to your home by removing piles of debris from your property and placing woodpiles and compost piles away from the outside of your house. It can also be helpful to limit the amount of flowering plants that you have planted close to your home.

If they have built their nest a distance from your home, it is probably best to leave the nest alone since they are environmentally important. However, if they have built a nest on your home, or in a location that makes them a threat to you and your family, it is best to contact Quik-Kill Pest Eliminators. Bumble bees can sting multiple times, and their sting is very painful and causes a lot of swelling. DIY stinging insect nest removal is dangerous and is never recommended.

Professional bumble bee control

If you’ve found a bee nest in or near your home, contact Quik-Kill for professional bee removal services. Our service technicians have the training, experience and equipment necessary to safely and effectively eliminate the threat. Please contact us today for more information regarding our stinging insect control and nest removal services.

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