What are the Greatest Threats to Honey Bees?

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When your San Diego home or business is taken over by a swarm or hive of honey bees, it can be hard to believe that honey bees are a threatened species with declining numbers. But like most other species on earth, honey bees face a variety of dangers that impact their survival and ability to thrive in the ecosystem. 

Their survival is important for humans because of the work they do as pollinators. By understanding the greatest dangers to honey bees, we can be better equipped to do our part to protect them.

Honey bees face environmental threats such as climate change and habitat loss. Certain diseases, parasites and other insects and animals can also pose a danger to honey bees. Pesticides are another threat that can kill large numbers of bees and harm the environment. 

Let’s explore some of these threats and learn how we can help honey bees survive. 

Top Threats to Honey Bees 

Habitat Loss 

Changes in climate degrade the typical habitats for pollinators and the plants they feed on. The rapid expansion of residential and commercial buildings has destroyed the natural habitats where plants and animals live. Fewer plants and water sources mean fewer quality opportunities for pollinators to forage.

Climate Change 

The global change in climate not only impacts temperatures and seasons, but all living things that reside on earth. Changes in temperature can impact the timing and types of plants that flower, changing or eradicating the food source for pollinators. In turn, these plants cannot benefit from the efforts of bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators.

Parasites and Diseases 

There are many parasites that can target honey bee populations. Each can attack a honey bee in different ways. Some will target the developing larvae, while others will attach themselves to adult bees. Parasites can decimate an entire colony quickly. Due to natural honey bee behavior, infected colonies can easily spread parasites to other colonies.

Some of the more common parasites that can attack honey bee colonies include:

Other Insects and Animals 

Parasites are not the only ones that can infect a honey bee colony. There are other insects and animals, human beings included, that can decimate colonies or generally harm bees.

Certain species of wasps and hornets may attack honey bees and bring them back as food for young wasps. They may also target the nectar that honey bees have collected and stored in the cells. Spiders can also be threats for honey bees. Raccoons and certain species of birds may attempt to target a honey bee nest when they are hungry.

Pesticides 

Pesticides are poisons that can effectively kill insects. However, they can also kill beneficial species such as honey bees and contaminate plants and water sources. Even non-lethal chemicals can still have a negative impact on honey bees, weakening them and their ability to fight off disease and parasites.

What can you do to protect honey bees? 

While the average person may not be able to protect honey bees from mites, insects and other animals, there are still plenty of things you can do right now to help your local honey bees.

To counteract habitat loss, provide ample opportunities for honey bees to forage and gather water on your property. Plant bee friendly plants and flowers. Provide a water source. Even if you are tight on space, there are plenty of plants and herbs that will attract honey bees and don’t take up any room on your windowsill or patio.

Choose safe and humane bee removal processes. Avoid calling in an exterminator who will use pesticides to control and eliminate a bee hive or swarm. Encourage others to choose live bee removal if they are facing a honey bee issue on their property.

Take the knowledge that you have about honey bees and spread the word! Share information about how amazing pollinators like honey bees are and how big a role they play in our agricultural system. Explain to people the threats that honey bees face and how they can counteract those threats by becoming stewards of conservation and honey bee protection.

At D-Tek Live Bee Removal, we pride ourselves on using safe and humane bee removal practices in all of our services. If you live in the San Diego area and need the best San Diego live bee removal services, contact our experts at D-Tek Live Bee Removal today.