WASPS & BEES
Why Wasps and Bees are a Nuisance
Bees wasps, is there a difference? Yes, there absolutely is and it is important to
determine which is causing you problems. The treatment of a wasp infestation is
very different from the treatment of bees.
When we think of wasps, we picture a yellow and black striped flying insect that stings. There are many
variations of wasps in the UK and many are plain black and much smaller than the one we often swat
away at a picnic or BBQ.
Whether it is wasps or bees, the thing they have in common that makes them a nuisance is that they are
stinging insects. How much of a pain a wasp is, depends on the type of wasp? They usually fall into two
categories. Social and solitary. Solitary wasps are not usually a reason to call out pest control. However,
wasps like the German wasp are social wasps. When a social wasp feels threatened, not only will they be
more likely to sting but they also emit a pheromone that calls for back up to attract wasps from their
colony. Because a wasp sting, or bee sting, can cause an allergic reaction, getting rid of wasps and bees
can be very important for some people.
How to Spot a Wasp or Bee Infestation
The first thing you normally notice with wasps or bees that have become an infestation is the number of
them that you see in and around your property or workplace. You might keep finding dead wasps. In
some cases, you may see the wasps nest itself. In either situation, call for some wasp control.
What you can do
The first thing we will say is do not remove or treat a wasps nest on your own! Prevention is the best
course. You can do this by securing windows and doors to stop them entering the property, keep your
bins shut so these greedy insects don’t get a free meal, and check for nests early. Spring is when wasps
build nests. They start off small, around the size of a ping-pong ball, and are much easier to deal with at
that size. Towards the summer there could be thousands of wasps in the colony.
As with many pests, you can get shop-bought wasp and hornet killer. But as we mentioned, threatened
wasps sting and unlike bees, they can sting multiple times. They also call for help. DIY wasp and bee
techniques are usually dangerous and often involve a home-mix put in a hose end sprayer bottle. This
will only agitate wasps, putting you at risk.
Some more natural wasp deterrents exist. Some people swear by a fake nest. Wasps are territorial and
avoid other nests, but there are mixed reviews on how effective they are. Other people think essential
oils, especially peppermint, work best to deter wasps. It might be worth trying a few to see what works
for you to prevent wasps and bees - however these methods are highly unlikely to work.
What we can do
The best treatment of wasps is the destruction of the nest. Using insecticidal sprays or dust. But this
must be carried out by a trained professional. Removal or treatment is only required if they pose a risk
to public health and safety. In a home or around a workplace then this can be the case, especially where children are concerned. We will discuss the options after evaluating the situation but whatever happens, when it comes to getting rid of wasps and bees, call the professionals in.
Officially, no bees in the UK are a protected species so it is legal to remove them where necessary.
Where possible, we will remove the colony and rehome them in one of our hives or alternatively pass
them over to a beekeeper. However, this is not always possible, and extermination must be carried out
as the last resort. It is very important that authorised pesticides are used and that any entry points to
the colony are sealed afterwards.
There are approximately 25 species of native Bumble Bees in the UK. All of which are very placid and
fantastic creatures to have pollinating your garden. Their season is short and their population in the
colony is usually quite small, and they are not aggressive unless provoked or an insecticide is used in
close proximity. We usually relocate them or convince you to live with them and explain their positive
Tree Bumble Bees (Bombus Hypnorum)
These are a non native species of bee to the UK. They are very aggressive with large colonies and a rapid
breeding rate. If left untreated, they will create new nests in surrounding roofs in the Winter, and then
reappear in the Spring. These bees are very hard to get rid of, even with professional assistance. We will
re-home the bees if this is your preference, however this can be difficult as they are extremely
aggressive, and much like wasps, will sting over and over. Please do not attempt to remove them