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BEES

Identification & Biology of Bees:

There are many types of bees with colonies varying in size from about 50 up to 50,000 all pollinate flowers and plants. The most commonly seen are bumble bees, honey bees, solitary bees and mason bees.

  • Bumble Bees – The bumble bee is large, furry and is dark coloured with the exception of golden stripes across the end of their tails. They nest in small wall cavities, holes in the ground, under sheds or in undisturbed compost heaps.
  • Honey Bees - These are kept by Bee Keepers, but they do also live in the wild in hollow trees or in chimneys, wall cavities or roof spaces. They are akin in size to wasps but are furrier and mostly black in colour. It is the honey bee that converts nectar into honey and beeswax and is known to swarm, which will appear in flight and cluster on a tree branch. The noise can be frightening, but the danger is minimal if you keep your distance and contact a local bee keeper or environmental Health Department as they will be able to arrange for the swarm to be relocated.
  • Solitary Bees – These can look similar to honey bees and often nest near each other but as the name suggests they live alone. Some tunnel in sandy soil, soft mortar in old houses or use domestic air bricks to nest in. They do not swarm and are in no means aggressive.
  • Mason Bees - Many species of bee nest in crevices or holes in masonry and are identified as masonry or mortar bees. They are often found in walls that receive sunshine for lots of the day. They are harmless they are not aggressive and will not attack.

Where bees live & how they affect you:

Bees are important to us all as they pollinate fruit & make honey & beeswax. Some bee’s species are under threat & are therefore protected by law. Given their importance to both us & the environment, the nests should be left undisturbed where possible. They will not sting unless threatened, unlike wasps which are far more aggressive in nature. Bee stings can be very painful & can be dangerous, as one in thirty people are allergic to stings. If you do get stung scratch rather than pull the sting out & move away from the hive area. If you have a bee nest you will more than likely see bees entering a hole in the ground, wall or roof. Where they nest can identify the species.

Control measures for bees:

If a bee’s nest represents a high risk to people such as being located near a school, hospital or within a home, the nest can be removed &moved to a safe area by a professional bee keeper. On no account must the entrance to the nest be blocked as this can be very dangerous. It is advised that you keep pets away from the nest area & keep windows shut nearby. Please call KNOCKOUT PEST CONTROL for a FREE survey if you suspect that you may have a bee’s nest problem in & around your property.