Top Misconceptions About Bees

Local gardeners and beekeepers pride themselves on staying up to date on the latest related to bees and other pollinators. Bee enthusiasts are advocates for sharing information and growing awareness of the importance of bees as pollinators to the environment. Misconceptions about bees have led to many situations that could have otherwise been avoided. Understanding and dispelling myths about bees can help us live harmoniously with bees and other pollinators.

All Bees Live in Beehives and Produce Honey

This misconception could not be less accurate! Most bee species are ground dwellers and do not live in a beehive or produce honey. Out of more than 20,000 species of bees, less than 5% are honey producers, and less than 10% live in beehives. A majority of bee species live alone and nest in tunnels in the soil or trees. Even though honeybees get all the attention, there are more bee species that do not dwell in hives than those that do.

All Bees Sting and Die After They Sting

It may surprise some that not all bees sting, and some do not have the capability to sting to protect their hive. Honeybee worker bees can sting other insects over and over again. However, when their little stinger penetrates the skin of an animal or a person, the barbs get stuck and rip the bee apart, and that is why this misconception continues to circulate as a general statement for all bee species.

Bees Live Longer if They Never Sting Someone

In line with the above misconception, not all bees sting, and their ability to sting does not dictate their life span. A bee's life span is relatively short, with the exception of the queen. The bees who live in solitary live only a few weeks; this is enough time to build a best and produce offspring. Social bees, like honeybees and bumblebees, live approximately a month and a half. Worker bees spend their entire lives working in the hive and foraging nectar and pollen for their queen and beehive. Queen bees may live up to a year, and some honeybee queens have been known to live up to four years.

Bees Are the Only Pollinator

Contrary to what some people think, bees are in good company with other pollinators like bats, butterflies, squirrels, and birds. Pollination is a shared task among many pollinator groups. Still, bees remain a critical part of the process, which is why there are continued efforts to bring awareness and an appreciation of their role and importance in a balanced ecosystem. The use of toxic pesticides not only gets rid of whatever pests you are trying to free your home and garden from, but you may haphazardly impact other pollinators in the area.

Bee Stings Are Fatal Most of the Time

Bee stings, even when multiple stings are received, are not deadly to someone who is not allergic to bee stings. Bee stings that end in fatality are rare, and those who are prone to anaphylaxis are less than 3 percent. When a non-allergic person receives multiple bee stings, their bodies will react and may require medical attention due to the amount of venom released with each sting. However, most stings can be treated at home, and an over-the-counter antihistamine helps relieve the itch as the sting area heals.

If someone does not know they are allergic, or you witness someone having trouble breathing or swallowing following a bee sting, get them medical attention immediately. Bee allergies and wasp allergies are not the same, so a person with an allergy to one may not be allergic to the other. Always be prepared to take prompt action, if necessary, in these situations.

Different Bee Species Make Different Honey

Although this seems like it would make the most sense, not all bees even produce honey. Fewer than 5% of bees make honey, and honeybees are one of the few that make enough honey to harvest, sell, and enjoy. Bumblebees do produce honey, but it is in smaller quantities. Bees collect nectar and pollen, make honey, and store it for colder winter months, and that is why not all honey is harvested; the top priority is ensuring the hive has what it needs to survive another year.

honey bee on white flower
bee removal in san diego

Get help with your beehive or bee swarm removal! Call Today 760-224-3040 Or 951-265-8292!

Dispelling Myths and Clarifying Misconceptions About Bees

Although there are many misconceptions about bees, there is one that is not a misconception, and that is the fact that bees are an essential part of the pollination process and play a critical role in our ecosystems. Knowing more about bees and advocating for their humane treatment and survival is something every person can do. If you want to know more or wish to purchase local honey, reach out to your local beekeeper. D-Tek is a beekeeper-owned humane live bee removal company that provides exceptional bee advice and services throughout Southern California.