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Most Common Types Of Bees In Illinois

bumble bee on flower

If you have ever been outside, enjoying your backyard, when all of a sudden a bee came out of nowhere and started flying around your head, chances are you didn't stop to examine what type of bee it was. If you are like most people, you probably got up, moved quickly away from it, and entertained your neighbors as you ducked and swerved. It didn't matter what kind of bee it was, you just wanted it gone! But, the fact is, if you knew what kind of bee you were dealing with, maybe you wouldn't be so concerned or--maybe you would be more concerned. The following is a guide to the three most common types of bees you may come in contact with on your Illinois property. We are talking about bumble bees, honey bees, and carpenter bees.

Bumble Bees

Bumble bee workers are typically around 1/2 to 1 inch in length. Queens are slightly larger, measuring in at 3/4 to 1 inch. They have an oval-shaped body and a noticeable "fuzzy" look to them. Their bodies are black and yellow striped and some species may have red or orange stripes. Males and females can be identified by the shape of the abdomen. Male bumblebee abdomens are rounded and female bumblebee abdomens are pointed. Also, females are equipped with a smooth stinger which allows them to sting multiple times. This can be extremely painful and dangerous for individuals with an allergy to their venom. Male bumble bees have no stinger at all. So, on the off chance you're able to identify a male bumble bee flying around your head, you can rest easy.

While it is impossible to predict where bumble bees will build nests, you can try to keep them at a distance by removing piles of debris from your property and placing woodpiles and compost piles well away from your home. It is also beneficial to limit flowering plants that are up close to your perimeter.

Honey Bees

These bees are a light golden brown color with brown banding. Coloring varies depending on the specific species, but they always have dark and light color variations. Honey bees are covered in fine hair and they have a barbed stinger off the back of their thorax. The presence of barbs means that this type of bee can only sting one time, since the stinger will get stuck and come off after a sting. These stings are also extremely painful and dangerous to those with an allergy to the venom. Worker honey bees will grow to be approximately 1/2 to 5/8 of an inch in length.

To keep honey bees away from your home, try to limit the number of flowering plants on your land. Also, like bumble bees, they can be kept at bay by storing firewood a distance from your house and removing any fallen trees from your property. Honey bees are drawn to garbage, so be sure all of your garbage cans have tight-fitting lids.

Carpenter Bees

Adult carpenter bees are oval in shape and have a robust appearance. Depending on the species, they can be anywhere from 1/4 to 1 inch in length. They are black and yellow and most often are lacking stripes. They also have a fuzzy body, except for their abdomen, which is hairless. Carpenter bees dig tunnels through unsealed wooden structures, which can become a hazard over time if structures such as stairs and decks become weakened.

The best way to keep carpenter bees away is to paint or stain structures, porches, and any other soft wood on your property. Removing old and rotting trees is also helpful.

How Quik-Kill Can Help

No matter what type of bee you are dealing with on your property, Quik-Kill can help. If you are seeing nests, or the bees themselves are plaguing you, call Quik-Kill for professional bee removal services. Our technicians know how to properly remove nests and eliminate the threat of bees. Life is better when you can enjoy your backyard without bees plaguing you. Let your neighbors find another form of entertainment--besides watching you flailing around in your backyard like a crazy person--reach out to Quik-Kill to day.

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