Honey Bee

Actual Size: 1/2″

Characteristics: Golden brown and black with pale orange or yellow bands on their abdomen.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Live inside hives with 20,000 to 80,000 colony members


  • During the winter, honey bee populations lay dormant
  • In the summertime, worker honey bees live for only about 5-7 weeks
  • Their stings can hurt and cause swelling at the sting site, followed by itching sensations

Honey Bees in Louisiana

Honey bees are active pollinators that, as their name suggests, produce honey. Their colonies can survive for years. Queen honey bees are slightly larger than male honey bees, also known as drones. They are found all over the nation and pollinate more than 100 types of crops. The two main types we see are Africanized honey bees and European honey bees. The latter is much more aggressive than the former. Honey bees will swarm when the colony becomes too large for its hive. A honey bee swarm can appear frightening, even more so when you consider how painful their stings can be.

Honey Bee Habitat & Life Stages

Honey bees like to construct nests in tree crevices, but will occasionally build nests in attics or chimneys. They are most visible in summer and late spring when new queens leave their old colonies along with thousands of workers to build new nests in tree hollows or crevices. At this time, large groups of bees can be seen swarming together to find a new nesting place. It takes a swarm approximately 24 hours to locate a new nesting site.

The three castes of honey bees have different life spans. Queens can live for three to five years; workers for a few weeks; and drones, which are the only males, live only until they mate with the queen, after which they die.

Honey Bee Behavior & Threats

Honey bee stings are known to be quite painful and even life-threatening to a small percentage of people who are allergic to the venom. Only female workers are capable of stinging and are not likely to sting when foraging for nectar and pollen in the back yard. Bee stings generally happen when these docile bees are provoked or accidentally crushed. Honey bees will sting to protect their hive but each bee can sting only once, and then it dies.

The stinger of the honey bee, having barbs, will remain in the skin unless physically removed. The method of removing the stinger, either grasping with fingers, tweezers, or scraping from the skin, is not as important as removing the stinger as quickly as possible. Honey bee stings are quite painful and even life-threatening to a small percentage of people who are allergic to the venom.

If you notice honey bees creating nests near or on your Louisiana home, contact your local bee removal experts.