It is estimated that there are approximately 20,000 species of bees worldwide without which the pollination of plants would be extremely difficult. Honey bees live in hives containing a queen bee, female worker bees and male drones. The worker bees clean the hive, collect pollen and nectar to feed the colony and take care of the offspring. The drones mate with the queen from other hives and die immediately after. If they don’t mate they can live for up to 90 days. There is only one queen bee per hive and after birth she will mate with 15 or more drones over 3 days. She will then retire to the hive to lay eggs and will not leave again unless the colony needs to seek a new home.
Bees prefer to live in quiet, sheltered, protective areas such as inside tree cavities or under objects to hide themselves away from disturbances and predators and where there are an abundance of flowers.
Types Of Flowers That Bees Love
Bees love a variety of weeds, flowers and crops so if you have a lot of bees in the garden then you are already growing the perfect plants for them, if your garden is lacking in bees then perhaps you do not have the plants that bees find attractive.
Here Are Some Examples That The Bees Like
Wildflowers such as: catmint, corn flower, clover, thistle, forget-me-not, yarrow, valerian, dandelion and daisy.
Herbs such as: mint, chives, lemon balm, lemon grass, oregano, coriander, thyme, rosemary and sage.
Flowers such as: buddleia, lavender, heather, bee balm, blackeyed susan, cosmos, sedum, hebe, honey suckle, verbena bonariensis (argentinian vervain), globe thistle, carnation, allium, tulip, lilies, gladioli, hyacinth, fritillaria, crocus, snowdrop, daffodil, dahlia, sunflower and poppy.
Fruit and vegetable crops such as: strawberry, elderberry, kiwi, passion fruit, coconut, orange, blueberry, grape, water melon, lime and lemon; potato, onion, turnip, celery, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprout, tomato and avocado.
Are Bees Harmful?
Bees are not dangerous towards humans, however they will defend themselves if threatened so when you see bees it is best to just leave them. If you come across hives in the country side, stay clear and do not disturb them as they obviously belong to a beekeeper who will not want his colony disturbed.
If you do happen to come across swarms of bees then do not approach them, remain calm and quietly move away.
What To Do When Bees Attack You?
Bees send out a warning sign before they attack by headbutting you, if you feel a bee bouncing off you then this is a clear indication that they are ready to attack. The best thing you can do is to run quickly (as fast as you possibly can) away from them before the whole colony attacks. If they do begin to chase you then keep running away from them in a straight line and do not stop until they are no longer chasing you. Find shelter in a car or building where bees cannot get in and wait until there are no bees in sight. Do not jump into water as bees will hover above the water and wait for you when you come up for air. If bees are persistent and won’t leave you alone then phone the emergency services and notify them of your location.
If you are attacked by bees then do not swat the bee, or try to waff it, or kill it because it will only make matters worse. Try to shield your face by using your arms, hands, shirt, or any piece of clothing that will protect your eyes and face. If you are stung by a bee then pull the stinger out straight away and don’t forget to run like crazy.
What To Do If You Suffer An Allergic Reaction?
In severe cases of an allergic reaction, too many bee stings can lead to death so you must seek medical attention straight away. Signs to look out for are: rapid swelling around the eyes, lips, tongue or throat, trouble breathing or swallowing, wheezing or hoarseness. If you are stung more than 10 times then as a precaution seek medical attention because bee venom can take a few hours before you feel the full effects.
What Can Provoke Bees?
Loud noises such as, barking dogs, car horns, blaring radios, chainsaws, strimmers, lawn mowers etc.
Strong odours such as, perfumes, aftershaves, hairsprays and fragrant smelling clothes that have been washed can attract them – ever wondered why a bee won’t leave you alone?
Sugary drinks and fruits can attract bees.
Bad odours can also attract bees.
What Precautions Can You Take To Protect Yourself?
If you are going out for walks in the country side or an area where there is a risk from bees, then wear light coloured clothing and try not to wear anything that’s fragrant of fruity smelling. Limit the amount of deodorant, perfumes or aftershaves and if you are having a picnic then find a place where there are no bee hives in sight and keep away from masses of flowers that attract bees. It would be a good idea to check the surrounding area for bee hives and for any sound of buzzing before you enjoy your picnic.
Consider carrying a face mask or a mosquito net that can fit over your head and be put into a bag or pocket. Use a blanket, sheet, or piece of clothing such as a shirt or a jacket to cover your eyes and face. Always tell family and friends were you are going and carry a fully charged phone.