When operating a landscaping business, you may run into buzzing black and yellow insects while maintaining grounds and attempting to keep flower beds healthy. Although bees are the most important pollinators of our plants and flowers, they can be dangerous to humans (especially to those who are allergic). Recognizing bees is critical to keeping landscaping employees safe and protected.
While bee stings may be painful and potentially dangerous, bees are also crucial to the environment. When landscaping at a client’s property, it’s not a sustainable decision to exterminate these creatures. By understanding different types of bees and their individual importance to our planet, landscapers can assure they’re making ethical decisions.
The question is: how are landscapers supposed to do their job safely and easily with bees everywhere?
With the right tools, gear, and knowledge, your landscaping business can work safely around bees. When working on landscaping at a client’s home, it is important to make sure that you and your employees are able to identify types of bees – not only for your own safety, but for the client’s safety as well.
How to Identify Types of Bees
Identifying different types of bees is important not only for safety purposes, but also for the well-being of the environment. Some species of bees may be more aggressive and likely to sting than others, which is important to take into account for the safety of your employees. It is important to recognize bees to ensure that you are not killing any bees that are essential to the health of the environment.
First, you’ll need to know the basic difference between bumblebees and carpenter bees so you know what you’re dealing with and how to act further.
If you’re looking at a large hairy bee with traditional yellow and black markings, that’s the bumblebee in a nutshell. They typically come out during warmer months and seek pollen from flowering plants. They’re a somewhat boring bee and rarely sting humans, but they are ugly and frightening to some customers, so you may be asked how to handle them.
Wondering about the difference between honey bees and bumblebees? Both live in hives, and both create honey, although the bumblebee does not produce nearly as much volume as the honey bee. Thus the name, honey bee.
The honey bee is a small black and yellow bee that assists in pollinating flowers. While useful in the ecosystem, your client may again find them to be a nuisance and ask that they be removed. While bumblebees are generally docile, honey bees may be more antagonistic if disturbed. If a honey bee does have the chance to sting you, it will die afterward due to the impact of the stinger’s removal on its body.
Sometimes referred to as the “wood bee,” carpenter bees are large black bee that could almost be mistaken for a bumblebee at first glance. There are three distinguishing characteristics, however:
- The color
- The flight pattern
- The habitat
While both bee types are big, the bumblebee belly is yellow and black, whereas the carpenter bee is a black bee from top to bottom.
In addition, bumblebee’s have a different, often clumsy-looking flight pattern. Have you ever seen a black bee hovering, the same spot, then flitting back and forth almost like a U.F.O.? That’s the trademark carpenter bee flight pattern.
Thirdly and most importantly, carpenter bees have unique habitats compared to most other bees. Bumble bees live in hives; hives are generally not great because it indicates more bees are there. However, at least they produce some honey! This is not the case for carpenter bees.
Carpenter bees, instead, bore holes in unfinished wooden structures, including sheds, decks, swing sets, and even the sides of a customer’s home! There is no carpenter beehive to worry about, but the damage they might do to nearby wood is worrisome indeed. If carpenter bees continue to tunnel into the same hole year after year, it can result in significant structural damage.
It is also important to note that a female carpenter bee will sting if aggravated; a male carpenter bee tends to appear more aggressive in nature, but they actually do not have the ability to sting. Overall, carpenter bees are typically not aggressive and aren’t very likely to sting you.
As a landscaper working around bees, it is important that you and your employees are safe and protected. Make sure everyone working for your landscaping business receives the proper training on bees and exactly how to handle them. It is also important that employees are wearing the proper clothing and accessories to prevent painful bee stings.
How Can You Help?
There are many things you can do for your customer to provide an appropriate solution for their bee problem. The more knowledge you have on bee prevention, the better you can help your client and ensure their continued business.
Some bee species are protected because of their endangered status. As previously mentioned, some bees are essential to the environment. For these types of bees, relocation or cohabitation is often recommended. For the right client, expressing this knowledge to them presents you as a conscientious, environmentally-minded citizen instead of just another contractor out for a quick buck. Depending on the client’s opinion, relocation may be the best option.
As for other clients, they might just want some peace back on their premises. What can you do as a landscaper or groundskeeper to discourage the pest presence then? Or, when acting as an exterminator, how could you effectively treat the outdoors?
Enter the Bask Mistmaster® 3-in-1 Misting System. This misting system is all you need to get a handle on the bee situation, whether you’re dealing with honey bees, bumblebees, carpenter bees, and everything in “bee”-tween.
How Will the Mistmaster Help?
The revolutionary application makes quick work of any yard or grounds regardless of size, square footage, acreage, or other factors that may otherwise complicate the matter.
Mist by Hand
The system is compact, lightweight, and fully portable since it uses a battery to power it. You and your crew no longer need heavy backpacks or gasoline-powered behemoths to lug around in order to keep grass or plants healthy.
Set It and Forget It
Likewise, you could also set up a series of risers or an overhead system that automatically disseminates plant food or fertilizer on a semi-regular basis. If your landscaping business only has ornamental licenses and can’t work with pesticides, you can simply charge a fee to install these fixed misting stations and let clients take care of the rest on their own. This may take some extra work, but the Mistmaster is incredibly easy to set up.
Simply set up the Mistmaster and collect for the work done for an extra revenue stream on this account.
Don’t Mist Out!
With one of the most effective and revolutionary products on the market, why waste any more time letting your competitors scoop up this new solution and start scalping your accounts?
Don’t let anyone else take over your territory. Up the ante with the Bask Mistmaster and set the real standard in your market today!