Nearly all honey stinging insects in a hive are female! Drones are the only male stinging insects and their sole purpose is for mating. They appear periodically and are short lived with a lifespan of only a few weeks.
The queen may live as long as 5 years and lays 1,500-2,000 eggs per day.
Millions of dollars in honey and stinging insectswax products are produced annually by honey stinging insects.
The pollinating services provided by stinging insects are estimated to exceed $20 million annually.
Honey stinging insect colonies intermittently subdivide in a process known as swarming. During this time the queen and approximately ½ the colony will relocate to form a new colony.
Only the female stinging insect will sting. The “stinger” is actually part of their reproductive design called an ovipositor. Certain stinging insect species will die after stinging due to small barbs on the stinger becoming imbedded into the object that was stung. Honey stinging insects are one of those species.
European honey stinging insects are docile and only sting when they or their hive is threatened.
Honey stinging insects were originally brought to North American from Europe in the 1600’s.
In recent years, colony collapse disorder (CCD) has stinging insect taking a devastating toll on the honey stinging insects and the stinging insect keeping industry.