Vol 120 (2007): Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society
Ornamental, Garden & Landscape

Bees and trees: problems of honey bee nesting in landscapes

Adrian B.G. Hunsberger
University of Florida
Published December 1, 2007
  • bee-proofing trees,
  • Africanized honey bees,
  • bee removal


Feral European honey bees (EHB) (Apis mellifera L.) commonly nest in tree hollows. In southern Florida, tree hollows ( are fairly common and are caused by internal decay, especially in trees that have storm damage or have been improperly pruned. The more aggressive Africanized honey bee (AHB) (Apis mellifera scutellata Lepeletier), takes over or usurps ( Lepeletier) EHB nests. As the AHB spreads throughout Florida, their presence is causing increased "stinging events" to humans and in animal deaths. To be proactive, trees with hollows should be bee-proofed in high risk areas such as school yards, playgrounds, and recreational areas. Different methods of bee-proofing trees are discussed.