University of Maryland Extension

Honey Bees

honey bee

Honey bees are 1/2 to 5/8 of an inch long, orangish brown and fuzzy. They are social insects and live in large colonies. They are not aggressive and will only sting to defend themselves. When a honey bee stings it dies. Honey bees have barbed stingers and when used they are torn from the bee's body along with a poison sac and muscle tissue. If the stinger is not removed immediately, muscle contractions will drive the stinger deeper into the skin and pump more of the venom into the victim as well. Remove the stinger by scraping with a fingernail or knife blade. Do not squeeze it as this forces more venom in.

If a swarm of honey bees is found, call a local beekeeper. Most will come and remove the swarm. If honey bees are found to be nesting in a wall void of a home or other building a professional pest control company should be consulted. If the bees are killed and the nest is not removed, the wax and honey will melt inside of the wall. The honey may seep through plaster walls, there will be a strong odor from the honey and dead bees, and this debris will attract other insects and mice.

Photo Gallery

honey bee swarm
Honeybee swarm. Call a bee keeper if you see one.
honey bee nest
Honeybee nest in a wall void.
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