Found globally, bees are winged insects of the order Hymenoptera, super-family Apoidea. There are more than 20,000 recorded bee species. Megachile pluto, the largest of these creatures, is reported to be 3.9 cm long, while Perdita minima, the most diminutive of bees, are shorter than 2 mm long. Bees can be black or brown with red, yellow or lustrous blue stripes.

While some bees are solitary, species such as honey bees and bumble bees are tremendously social. Bee colonies are comprised of three castes: the queen bee, infertile female worker bees and male drones. The queen mates and lays eggs for the span of her life. Honey bee queens can live up to five years, though most average a lifespan of two to three years. Male drones exist solely to fertilize the queen and die soon after having fulfilled their task.

While bees can benefit the environment in many ways, it is inconvenient and possibly dangerous to let a bee hive thrive near your home.

It is important to properly identify the particular species living near your home, as bees are often mistaken for wasps due to their similar physical characteristics. There are different elimination processes for wasps and bees, so effective treatment relies upon proper identification. When using any method of bee control, it is also necessary to know effective application strategies, as well as the limitations and dangers associated with each method. In many regions, special licenses are required to treat infestations.