April wasp? Mason bees more likely

Every year we get plenty of call outs for “Wasps” in Late March and April. Wasps usually come out of hibernation in late April and are not considered a¬† “nuisance” when the wasp nest is at the golf-ball stage. Saying that, it looks like queen wasps come out of hibernation earlier each year. Maybe this is caused by global warming?

What we usually find are mason bees (Osmia spp). They are solitary bees and slightly smaller than a honey bee and a furry yellow belly. Although they are truly “solitary”, a great number of these can be present in a small area, appearing to be swarm-like. They appear in early spring, usually on warm south-facing walls or under tiles with suitable nesting cracks and crevices and disappear at the onset of summer. They do not have a colony structure like wasps and are very docile. They will only sting if extremely provoked. We always advise clients to leave them alone, as they are beneficial, docile, clean and very efficient pollinators of various crops.

One thought on “April wasp? Mason bees more likely

  1. It is important that people learn to distinguish between helpful and innocuous bugs and their more harmful cousins. For one, many people fear bees thinking and making an erroneous generalisation that they are all aggressive not knowing that several species will not attack unless provoked.