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The Honey Bee Habitat


Honey bees are drawn to areas that have a lot of flowers, areas such as gardens, meadows, orchards and woodlands. It is believed that these insects originally hail from tropical climates and heavily forested areas, from which they spread along with humans to new climates and continents.

Like most social insects, bees have a foraging caste that will venture outside the colony looking for food. Bee foragers will mainly be on the lookout for nectar, pollen, water, and propolis. Nectar is the main source of food for the bees. It provides them with the sugar they need to eat and make honey. The foragers will collect this nectar using their proboscis which will suck the nectar up and store it in the bee’s “honey stomach.” It is in this stomach that the nectar gets the enzymes it needs to gain antimicrobial properties.

If nectar provides the sugars the bees need to survive, pollen provides the protein. Bees will forage for pollen, bring it back to the colony and then store it in pollen pellets. Water is also essential of course, and it is used for both drinking and for maintaining the appropriate climate in the colony. On hot days for example, water will cool down the colony, and the bees have a very rudimentary air conditioning system, with bees fanning their wings near hive openings to remove warm air and moisture from the colony.

Finally, you have propolis, which is an antimicrobial resin that is produced by trees in order to protect themselves against various diseases. The bees will collect this propolis and then coat it all over the walls of their colony to provide a healthy and clean environment. They will also use propolis to sterilize various objects in or outside of their colony.

So bees are able to live in any habitat that provides these four main building blocks, and which can maintain a relatively temperate climate. Bees do not fare well in cold temperatures, so they do need a climate that is not too harsh.

This means that sometimes bees can be very resilient pests, when they set up on a property where they are not welcome. We can help you remove a bee swarm or a bee colony from your property effectively, if you notice that you have an infestation. Contact us today if you would like to know more.