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bees insects

What are Carpenter Bees?

Carpenter bees, also known as wood bees, are small, inch-long insects that closely resemble a bumblebee. You can spot the difference by noticing the carpenter bee’s less-hairy, shiny abdomen. It is important to take preventative measures against these bees, as it is much easier to prevent them rather than to get rid of them. Carpenter bees are a pest to many homes by burrowing into unfinished wood for shelter and nesting. The bees do not eat the wood, they only use it to lay eggs and live.

The bees find the wood through the odor in which the natural wood emits. They prefer untreated soft woods; even weathered wood is attractive to the carpenter bees. Although they prefer untreated wood, painted or treated wood is not necessarily a surefire way to ensure that carpenter bees don’t attack. Painting is advised over staining, as the bees are more likely to be attracted to a stained finish versus a painted finish. If painting isn’t an option, it is recommended to stain and put a gloss topcoat over the stain which will provide an extra layer and will render the wood less useful to the bees.

Painting or staining the wood is still a great deterrent, however, it is important that all cracks and crevices are painted/stained, as any wood that is left unpainted is still susceptible to damage. Painting/staining is a non-chemical approach to taking care of the issue and also tends to be a more hassle-free option. When using sprays or other methods of prevention, it is necessary to spray the wood every 3-4 weeks from spring until autumn. When spraying, you also need to ensure that all wood area is covered (under rails, decks, etc.) Any area that is left unsprayed is fair game. This is also another reason that painting/staining is a better option, because with paint or stain it is easier to see the areas that have been covered already. Once dry, paint/stain is weatherproof whereas spray can be affected by rain. Some sprays have also been known to leave a visible residue, especially against darker woods. Because of that residue, this may not be the best way to go about prevention in homes with small children, dogs, or other animals that may touch or ingest the spray. Not only does painting/staining the wood prevent these bees from attacking, it is also a great way to weatherproof the wood and add a decorative, finished flare.

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Categories
bees insects

When should a beekeeper be called during insect control and why?

It is said that Bee stings are the largest killer of humans in the United States, and people of many age groups become victim of bee venom and every year not less than a 100 people die every month due to venom from various insects and bees. Apparently many do not take precautionary measures nor do they call the pest control for proper steps to clear off for safety. But one more important thing is to be kept in mind is to have a beekeeper around to manage and to properly guide as to how bees can be controlled. A beekeeper is a professional in Apiculture and even knows deep about many bees and their details as to how good their honey is and also about its venom and to know if it is deadly or is potential to take human life. If the bee which is to be controlled of a good breed and can be accumulated in a area to be bred in Apiculture methods it could be mutually beneficial to the person and to the beekeeper. When bees are disturbed they often become angry and can sting whatever comes near them so a beekeeper is very necessary to be around in order to properly guide which poison or as to how to distract the bees and control them in order to not destroy their existence nor get a sting in return.

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bees insects

How does a honey bee make honey and what are the benefits of local unprocessed raw honey?

Honey bees work tirelessly to produce one of the world’s most renowned substance: honey. While mankind has all but perfected the collection and distribution of honey, it turns out nature got it right. Unprocessed, raw local honey offers the most in terms of antioxidants, immune system boosters, and overall health value. It is even considered to be a performance food in that athletes use it to replace vital carbohydrates and complex sugars in the most rigorous of competition. It is also of course praised for its taste and use in a variety of recipes. The process of making honey begins with bees collection nectar from flowers close to their hives. They collect nectar and begin processing it to convert it from raw, natural sugars into the familiar yellow, sticky substance. Once they return to their hive, bees deposit their find where other bees chew on this unprocessed substance to increase its viscosity and add even more beneficial substances. The end result is placed in a wax container and stored. Purchasing directly from the source ensures its freshness and health benefits. Shoppers should aim to purchase from local, organic sources to reap these benefits while enjoying a delicious, time-honored food that has long been perfected by nature.

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bees insects

What can you use to keep carpenter Bees Away?

The Carpenter bee – Xylocopa violecea are natural professional woodcutters that are prevalent throughout North America in the United States. Although there are many species of the Carpenter bee, one of the most common is big and resembles the familiar bumblebee. In order to keep Carpenter Bees away, it’s important to understand how they operate. The carpenter bee is a pollinator, that forages around flowers and shrubs, under the eaves of buildings, and makes a loud buzzing sound. This bee though it looks like a bumble bee, can be quite destructive because it will bore into wood to make a nice home for itself, causing damage to the wood on your property. They appear aggressive, harassing or attacking people, however, they rarely sting unless they are female.

Carpenter bees burrow in your property most often through cracks in your walls, however, they do bore holes into any suitable wood for nesting by drilling holes which are approximately on average ½” wide. They will drill chambers from there which become their nest. The female bee will sting when defending her nest. Carpenter bees can be difficult to eradicate because the bees will often return to the wood location where they were born.

Focusing on prevention is the first step in eradicating these pesky bees. Carpenter bees generally prefer untreated or soft wood, so treating the wood outside your house may be a good idea. Painting the wood is also a good way to prevent carpenter bees as they like woods that are unfinished or weathered. Painting those untreated surfaces and filling in any areas that have holes or cracks with caulk is a good step to deter carpenter bees, and will keep them from making their homes in the wood.

Next, you may want to consider treating the wood with sprays that are designed to repel the carpenter bees. There are many different brands and types of sprays which effectively repel carpenter bees. Outlast NBS 30 Additive is an effective low toxic option which is formulated to help deter Carpenter bees from borrowing into your wood. It is also understood that Carpenter bees don’t like citronella. You can also make your own repellent with citronella oil, and lavender oil, jojoba oil, and tea tree oils. Spraying that mixture on the areas of the house or garden that needs repelling.

If you are wondering what sprays kill carpenter bees, there are plenty of options, and many wasp or hornet sprays will work against Carpenter bees also. You can spray these directly on the bee. Or these sprays can be sprayed into the holes where their nests are. You will want to seal the holes immediately with caulk if you are spraying the nests, and nighttime would likely be the best time for this option. W.J. Arnold. © 2016

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