Bee colonies or swarms on your property need to be addressed immediatly as bees typically won't sting if they are gathering nector and pollen from flowers but will when they feel threatened or are protecting the colony. Hives are often found under eves, within pillars, under sheds or BBQs and in other hollow voids. You may only see a few bees entering a small hole or crack but usually thousands are within the structure: the average hive consists of ten to twenty thousand bees. There are over twenty thousand species of bees and they may be found on every continent except Antarctica. The africanized bees look the same as domestic but are substantially more aggressive.
The major chemical responsible for the pain of a bee sting is called melittin; it stimulates the nerve endings of pain receptors in the skin. The result is a very painful sensation which begins as a sharp pain that lasts a few minutes and then becomes a dull ache. Remove the stinger as quickly as possible because venom continues to enter the skin for 45 to 60 minutes. Bees and wasps react to odors in the environment; it is best not to use perfume, cologne or scented soaps.
Wasps are predators, scavengers and parasites; they eat other insects and this is beneficial as it controls other pest populations. They are not hairy like bees and can sting multiple times whereas bees die after one sting. Wasps are sometimes responsible for injecting anerobic bacteria ( organisms that cause blood poisening ); when wasps frequent wet manure and sewage they pick up the bacteria on their abdomins and stingers. Colonies are established annually and abandoned completely in the autumn after leaving a few fertilized queens to scatter around the vicinity and attempt a new colony the next season. Nests are made of paper produced from masticated wood pulp.