Can Bees Chew Through Duct Tape? (Yes)

Bees are a vital part of our ecosystem, but that isn’t reason enough to want them nesting in our homes and gardens. Because bees can enter tiny spaces and chew through almost all building materials, they can be a lot to deal with.

Duct tape is a common product that most beekeepers often have in their bags. Just like other items like a bee brush, a hive tool (a necessary tool to pry open the hive), a pocket knife, and a jar to store propolis and wax, duct tape is an essential beekeeping tool to have.

It can be used in so many ways, like securely hanging a cage, patching holes, adhering mesh or blocking a bee entrance. You can use duct tape for so many things, and duct tape is usually a preferable option to wax because yellow jackets, known for robbing, are frequent in the bee yard, and could easily unseal the wax.

Do Bees Chew Through Duct Tape?

Yes, bees can chew through duct tape. They can chew through many materials, and duct tape is no exception. While they won’t actively seek out the duct tape, they can chew through it effectively and quickly too if they need to. Sometimes, what bees do is forage on the adhesive on the duct tape. This doesn’t allow the tape to be sticky and serve its function.

You should never use duct tape to seal off an open hive, as this will cause bees to become agitated and more likely to attack. For beekeepers, however, duct tape is a convenient and versatile tool that makes a perfect addition to your beekeeper toolkit.

Why Do Bees Chew Through Duct Tape?

While bees won’t seek out the duct tape, they may decide to eat it if there are nutrients, pollen, or sugar stuck to it. As a beekeeper, if you’re using duct tape around your hives, you must understand that bees can chew duct tape for some reason.

They can also chew duct tape if it is being used to hold them inside or outside their hives.

You should not use duct tape to close off an open hive, because the bees will be looking to get through the tape, and chewing it will be an option because they can. Also, locking bees out of their home can cause them to become agitated, and that is never good for anybody.

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When bees get upset, they are likely to swarm or attack. Calling your local beekeepers if you have a beehive or nest, you need to remove is your best bet. 

Can Bees Sting Through Plastic?

Yes, they can. Not even leather gloves can protect you from bee stings. Gloves are usually made from cloth, leather or plastic and often have a gauntlet base that extends almost to the elbow, usually ending in a plastic band.

Choosing a pair of gloves that fit well will prevent some awkward and clumsy movements that may increase stinging.

If you’re wondering what to wear to protect you from bee stings, some beekeepers wear as much protective gear, which is made of heavy cotton, as possible to help reduce the number of stings they receive. Others may wear very little protection and do not worry about stings; the choice is yours.

You may want to start by wearing a full coverall with an attached hat, veil and gloves. The amount of protection varies depending on the activity being done and also on the temperament of the bees.

What Size Hole Can a Bee Go Through?

Experienced beekeepers say that bees can fit through quarter-inch mesh just fine. Beekeepers usually place this mesh over the opening of their hives to slow the bees down, but it doesn’t prevent the bees from entering or exiting.

If the hole is smaller than a quarter-inch, it would most likely be too small for the bees to pass through (depending on the type of bee). A worker bee can squeeze through an opening as small as one-seventh of an inch, but pollen would be scattered as if it flew through, which would be ideal if you were creating a pollen trap.

It is a difficult task to find and seal any openings that bees can enter through. Take note of cracks in the pavement, deck boards, and siding as these are common places for bees to nest.

What Else Can Bees Chew Through?

Bees can chew through a variety of materials such as drywall, wood, some plastics, caulk, and screens. This is due to evolutionary developments where many bees like to nest. While it would be better for everyone if bees kept their homes in trees away from us humans, they tend to nest in areas all-around your home.

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Bees love to nest in places close to flowers, from cracks in sidewalks and driveways to the siding of your house. If you enjoy the luxury of having a colorful floral garden, you are at risk of nesting bees.

Once bees find a place to call home, they can create a nest in as little as 48 hours. They move quickly so it is important to be proactive and continue to monitor your home for small bee nests.

Bees won’t hesitate to defend their home if they feel threatened, therefore it is important to know that you should not try to remove any beehive yourself. Rather than trying to kill or get rid of the bees yourself, call a local beekeeper. They will be able to take the necessary steps in safely and properly relocating the bees to a more appropriate location.

Why Do Bees Swarm Around You?

Bee swarms are behaviors that occur when they outgrow their hive or feel an ongoing threat to their home. Honey bees are docile, they do not sting unless provoked.

Although many species of bees are beneficial insects in many ways, like pollination and the production of delicious honey, it doesn’t mean you want them buzzing around you. Apiphobia – or a fear of bees – is one reason and another is that other people are highly allergic to the insect’s sting.

To understand why bees make a beeline for you, it also helps to know what these insects are looking for in the first place.

Firstly, bees are attracted to sugars, mainly nectar, because nectar is sweet. It makes sense that bees would be attracted to sugars and fragrances that smell flowery and sweet too. It’s the same reason you may notice bees at your picnic, especially if you’re drinking sugary sodas or eating fruits like watermelon and pineapple. The scent of sunscreen, lotions, and perfumes that are overly saccharine (have a sweetness resemblance) may also attract bees.

Secondly, just like nectar, bees are attracted to patterns and colors. Bees can also see colors in the spectrum ranging from ultraviolet to orange and have been observed to prefer purple, blue, and yellow flowers.

How Do You Keep Bees From Swarming You?

There are several preventive measures you can look into to prevent bees from swarming you, and although honeybees can swarm from the hive at any time, they do tend to swarm most during the spring.

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Bees simply have an instinctual desire to create another colony. Here are some tips to help prevent swarms. While these are not fail-proof against a swarm, they are still helpful in managing the situation.

  1. Plan on making splits in the spring: When colonies come through winter strong, you should plan on doing early splits as this will not only create another hive, it will help decrease the bee population temporarily and provide more room in the hive.
  2. Re-queen: This comes down to the management style of the beekeeper. Some re-queen every spring while others wait for hives to re-queen themselves.
  3. You avoid bee attention by wearing unscented products. Insect repellents can be used to mask the scents.
  4. Monitor mother nature: Honeybee activity is highly dependent on the weather. If the weather is warm and sunny, they are out and foraging. During long spells of rain, the bees are stuck inside their homes working.
  5. Give them space: Ensure that there is enough space between your inspections to give them ample room.

Can Bees Get Through Chicken Wire?

While the chicken wire would be bee-friendly, it would allow them to fly through unrestricted. Because it is so bee-friendly, beekeepers would opt for chicken wire for their bee fences. It is recommended because while it allows the bees to move through it freely, it serves the purpose of keeping birds from feasting on bee eggs.

What Repels Bees Instantly?

The scent of vinegar is known to repel bees. It affects their respiratory system and eventually causes them to die. They die almost instantly when they come into contact with vinegar.

Rather than killing these helpful creatures, a more humane way is to repel them naturally, this will help you do your bit for the planet. A natural repellent recipe that will keep you sting-free without harming the bees is to mix liquid castile soap with water in a spray bottle, add peppermint oil, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper then spray on areas you to keep bees away.

Because bees are incredible creatures that keep our plants full of plants and greenery, they can also give nasty stings, so most people want to get rid of them.

About Stephanie

Stephanie is fond of doing all backyard-related work at her home. She loves to take sunbathe and do a barbecue in her free time. She often shares practical tips and friendly expert advice on everything relating to home and yard on this blog. When she is not writing, she goes camping with her husband and little kids.