Honey, I’m Home!

Bee-Pest-ControlHoneybees have a very strict set of rules when it comes to finding the ideal location for a nest. In fact, they’re more particular than many people I know! They also have a meticulous process for their house-hunting endeavors.

House-Hunting Honeybees
When a swarm of honeybees is ready to relocate, they send out a small number of house hunters to scout new nesting sites. These house-hunting honeybees are very thorough, spending approximately 40 minutes exploring each potential site.

They’ll select their top locations for repeat visits. The queen, too, visits each potential site, and returns several times, at various times of day, to be sure she chooses the best location. Once she’s found a site to her liking, she actually breaks into dance! The more vigorous the dance, the more enthusiastic she is about the spot. Her fellow scouts then come for a final inspection, and once they’ve closed the deal, the swarm moves in to build a new nest.

Home Sweet Home

As you might suspect from this elaborate process, honeybees are very particular about where they rest their wings. The following criteria must be met for them to consider a nest site:

  • Away from Mom and Dad: The distance from the parental nest must be far enough to avoid competition between the two nests.
  • Room to grow: Depending on the colony size, honeybees prefer a cavity of 22-40 liters (approximately 5-10 gallons). They look for locations that allow ample space to grow and help them survive the winter season.
  • Front entrance: Honeybees will typically have one entrance to their hive. (Some larger colonies have been noted to have up to 5, but this is not usually the case.) They need to be able to defend themselves; therefore, one entrance, typically no larger than 10-20 centimeters (approximately 4-8 inches) is ideal.
  • Sunny skies: Honeybees prefer to have their hive entrance facing the south side of houses. This allows for early morning foraging and helps keep the colony warm in cooler locations.
  • Shelter from the storm: No one wants to live in a wet or drafty area, including honeybees. Sites that are exposed to wind or rain are not desirable.

Does your home provide an ideal environment for honeybees? If you think a hive may have closed a real-estate deal on your property and moved in, call in an expert and have them evicted!