Life in The Woodlands brings the discovery and adventure of nature to our back door. The 1,800-acre George Mitchell Nature Preserve and more than 3,000 acres of open space reserves provide habitat for a diverse wildlife population. Many local species, like opossums, armadillos and hummingbirds, are unique to the Americas. 

Nature photography, critter watching and butterfly gardening provide countless hours of recreation to residents of all ages. The diversity of birds, including the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker, attracts birdwatchers from around the globe. 

Wildlife are the native inhabitants of The Woodlands and perform a vital role in our environment. Living in harmony with foraging wildlife requires a little planning and sound property management.
  1. Bees
  2. Egrets
More than butterflies or hummingbirds, bees are the number one animal pollinator of food crops, wildflowers and ornamental plants. The Woodlands provides abundant habitat not only for colony dwelling, European honey bees, but also for innumerable species of solitary native bees. 

Occasionally sighted in spring, a honey bee swarm signals that a queen has left the hive with a large number of workers to establish a new hive. When scouting for a site, the swarm may rest on a tree or side of a building. While alarming, swarming bees are generally not aggressive and will usually move on if left alone. 

Things to Remember
  • Always use necessary safety precautions when around a swarm or hive. 
  • Swarming bees may form a large “ball” with the queen in the middle. 
  • The swarm is seeking a new home. 
  • Aggressive behavior is generally associated with defense of a hive. Swarming bees have not established a hive yet; there are no eggs or larvae to protect. 
  • Bees may build a hive in the hollow of a tree or in the eaves, behind loose boards in a wall or under the roof of a house or structure if they can gain access. 
  • Less than one percent of the population is allergic to bee stings. However, it is always better to be safe.

Bee Removal and Beekeeping Resources 

Due to pressures, honey bees and native pollinators are in decline. Planting to attract pollinators is a growing trend in gardening. Due to our comparatively mild winters, The Woodlands provides a year round home for honey bees as well as solitary native bees and bumble bees. Visit the links below to learn more about pollinators and pollinator gardens: