Bee Cool: Can Bees Build a Nest Inside an Air Conditioner?

24 June 2019
 Categories: , Blog

In the wild, bees usually nest in hollow trees or old mouse nests underground. But in urban environments, when nesting among humans, bees will nest just about anywhere as long as it provides them with shelter and a nearby food source; namely flowers.

When searching for a nest in a residential area, bees will nest in old appliances, under old grass and even in air conditioners. However, if you ever suspect that bees have built a nest in an air conditioner, honeybees will be the likely culprit.

Honeybees Nest Above Ground

When honeybees look for a new nesting site, the colony sends out scouts. These scouts locate potential nesting sites before notifying the queen. At the top of a honeybee queen's list of priorities is safety. Since air conditioners tend to be above the ground, they suit the needs of honeybees, which prefer to nest three to six metres above the ground.

As a result, if an air conditioner breaks and isn't used for weeks or months, there is a chance it could become home to a nest of honeybees.

Honeybees Don't Like Heat

As well as requiring height, honeybees also need somewhere cool where they can retreat to on especially hot days. Honeybees, like the Europeans that once settled in Australia, originated in colder climes than those found in Australia and only arrived in Australia in the early 1800s. It should come as no surprise then that honeybees don't like heat.

Since air conditioners are situated indoors, they'll likely be cooler than the outdoors on hot summer days. The conditions inside a large air conditioner also won't be too unlike those in a hollow tree, with plenty of darkness and space to move around in.

Honeybees Need Space to Build Their Nest

A honeybee nest can contain up to 80,000 honeybees when at full capacity! A nest could reach this number during the later months of summer. Obviously, this means that a honeybee queen needs enough space for her colony to grow over spring and summer.

Air conditioners provide the space that honeybees need to expand their colony.

Bees Nest in Inactive Air Conditioners

If an air conditioner is usually in use, bees won't be able to comfortably build a nest inside it. However, broken or faulty air conditioners could become home to a nest of honeybees should it be left undisturbed from autumn to late summer.

If you suspect that bees have built a nest in an air conditioner, don't anger the bees by turning the air conditioner on. Call a bee removal expert to deal with the bees quickly and safely. You can also check out a website like today to learn more.