Multifamily Florida - Spring 2012 - (Page 14)

FEATURE Caution: Spring Might Bring Killer Bees to Your Community swarm to create a new one. A common beehive will have one to three swarms each year, while killer bees swarm up to 16 times per year. That means that they can establish new hives all over Florida and possibly in your community more quickly. These colonies can establish nests in a wide variety of locations, such as inside covered water meter boxes, manholes, exterior walls, hollowed areas of trees, discarded tires, roof eaves, chimneys, crawl spaces, sheds, abandoned vehicles and trash piles. Not only do killer bees build more hives, they are much more aggressive. Over 80% of a killer bee colony will aggressively attack and pursue their threat for as far as 500 feet from their hive, versus a very small portion of common honeybees chasing you no more than 80 feet away from their hive. However, all beehives should be eliminated only by a Certified Pest Control Operator, as recommended by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Apartment communities need to address swarm and hive issues as soon as they are identified to protect their residents and the property for two main reasons: 1) To protect your residents from a stinging incident. About two million people in the United States are allergic to bee stings and just one or two stings can place them into anaphylactic shock. Allergic reactions are also more common among children, the elderly and pets. Severe allergic reactions can result in death, contributing to nearly 100 Americans that die every year from bee stings. 2) Hives can be built in hard to reach areas and become more difficult to eliminate the larger they grow. For example, hives built in a wall can’t simply be sealed up if an established hive has been in the wall for more than a week, because, most likely, a honeycomb has been created. If a honeycomb is left intact, it can leak honey, which could stain walls, baseboards and the carpet. The abandoned honeycomb can even attract new bees, which will clean out the old hive and resume residency! The best way to reduce the chances of bees moving into your apartment community is through PREVENTION. Here are a few Prevention Tips your maintenance personnel should follow: • Inspect routinely for any bee activity and make sure to inspect weekly from March to July. • Bee-proof all buildings by detecting gaps and voids on the walls and eaves of the buildings where small gaps (1/8 inch or larger) could allow bees to enter. Then seal these gaps, especially around and behind conduits, electrical boxes, plumbing accesses and chimneys. • Remove any unnecessary possible nesting sites that can be taken off of the property or properly stored (i.e. discarded tires, abandoned vehicles or trash piles). • Screen openings in eaves, vents, cavities of trees, fence posts, water meters and utility boxes with 1/8 inch hardware cloth. If you do find bees moving in and setting up shop, contact Massey Services for a free, no-obligation inspection and estimate for eliminating bees on one or more of your properties. Bob Belmont is a Board-Certified Entomologist, Pest Prevention Training & Technical Director for Massey Services, Inc. in Orlando, Fla. ● by Bob Belmont, Massey Services Most people think of bees buzzing in the sky as just part of spring, but now that Africanized honeybees (also referred to as “killer bees”) have made their way to Florida, we need to be more cautious. The common honeybee you see in Florida is generally the non-aggressive European honeybee, but, unfortunately, killer bees look nearly identical to them. For that reason they cannot be easily discerned from one another, even by a good entomologist. Given that your apartment community might attract some dangerous insect residents without your knowing, it is important to understand how much more serious the threat of killer bees are compared with the common honeybees. First of all, Africanized bees reproduce more quickly and create more hives than the common honeybees. Beginning in spring, half the bees in a hive will 14 l MultifamilyFLORIDA l SPRING 2012 http://www.faahq.org/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Multifamily Florida - Spring 2012

President’s Message
Legislative Update
Florida Apartment Industry Makes an Impact in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C.
Caution: Spring Might Bring Killer Bees to Your Community
How to Avoid Over-Insuring Your Apartment Property
Superior Property Management: Do You Know What It Looks Like?
Apartment Industry Aims to Provide Housing for Homeless Families
Product/Service Council Directory
Index to Advertisers/Adv.com

Multifamily Florida - Spring 2012

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