While Arizona might be a state best known for sunshine and natural views, it also hosts its fair share of bee species! While there are more than 1,300 native species of bees found within Arizona, there are a handful of major bee groups that deserve more of our attention than others.
In today’s buzzing discussion, we are going to discuss the most common bees of Arizona and what you should do if you spot them!
Members of the apidae family, bumble bees are robust, hairy, and brimming with color. Typically covered in black, orange, yellow, and whitish bands of hair, bumble bees swarm together in colonies underneath the dirt, below wooden boards, or even within rodent burrows! Growing up to an inch in length, Bumble Bees are some of the most common bees within Arizona and they are vital to the long-term health and vitality of our planet.
If You Spot Bumble Bees – Avoid them! Bumble Bees are social creatures that are really only a threat when antagonized. If you fear a potential swarm or infestation near your home, contact a reputable bee removal expert.
Another member of the apidae family, Cuckoo Bees are slender and often confused with wasps. Cuckoo Bees feature red and black bodies with the occasional yellow-banded abdomen. Both male and female Cuckoo Bees will visit flowers to acquire nectar but they do not attempt to collect any pollen. Cuckoo Bees are considered parasitic as their females lay eggs within other nests. According to Pollinator.org, nearly 10% of Arizona’s bee population is parasitic.
If You Spot Cuckoo Bees – These bees do not pollinate and are considered parasitic. As with all bees, do not approach without a plan. Cuckoo Bees can be safely removed by a pest control specialist.
Carpenter bees are large critters that can grow up to an inch in length. Often confused with the Bumble Bee, carpenter bees are distinguishable due to their shiny, jet-black abdomen. With larger jaws that are capable of chewing wood, we can understand how this bee got its name! Only the female bee can sting and as they aren’t typically aggressive, you shouldn’t be too concerned for your safety.
If You Spot Carpenter Bees – Contact an exterminator. Carpenter bees can chew through the wooden structures within your home, leaving damage in its wake.
Leafcutter or Mason Bees
Both members of the Megachilidae family, Leafcutter and Mason Bees feature pale bands across black bodies, often with blue or metallic shades. Growing up to 3/4ths of an inch in length, these bees live in beetle holes, wooden blocks, and occasionally in soil. Both the leafcutter and mason bee will collect mud to craft its nest.
If You Spot Leafcutter or Mason Bees– You are probably fine to leave them alone! These bees are both solitary in nature and likely not representative of an infestation. However, if you have concerns, a pest control specialist can provide support.
The most prevalent and important of bees within Arizona, Honey Bees belong to the apidae family where they are notable for black eyes, dark legs, and golden-orange bodies. These bees are incredibly social, live in huge man-made hives, and also find homes within rocky outcrops and tree hollows. Honey bees even have hairy eyes!
Honey bees aren’t typically a threat, though their Africanized Honey Bee cousins can attack in large swarms, acting aggressively while creating incredibly dangerous scenarios.
If You Spot Honey Bees – Leave them alone and have a pest control expert confirm that they are not Africanized. A reputable expert can also remove honey bees safely, keeping the hive intact.
Growing up to half an inch in length, mining bees are notable thanks to their red and brown hairs across their metallic-black bodies. Mining bees live in and make nests near the soil, preferring sandy environments to the comfort of our yards and homes. Mining bees are both solitary and communal creatures, making them easy to miss should they live near your property.
If You Spot Mining Bees – Mining bees are friendly, largely avoid biting and stinging, and are incredibly vital to flower pollination. If you spot mining bees, leave ’em alone!
Sweat bees manifest in just about every size, shape, and color. Most of all, sweat bees are smaller creatures with black or brown bands atop a yellow or green body. Some sweat bees can pollinate while others won’t, so that can make them a little harder to identify. One issue with sweat bees is that they are attracted to human sweat and are prone to stinging when provoked (i.e., swatted away from your skin.) As bee allergies are a huge deal, sweat bees are particularly dangerous to those individuals.
If You Spot Sweat Bees – Avoid them!
No matter what kind of bee you have buzzing around your property, you aren’t alone with the problem. Call Buzz Tech AZ Professional Bee Removal, today!