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Bees & Bee control

Bumble bees

Buff-tailed bumble bee
“Bombus terrestris”

Bees in particular are environmentally very beneficial to man by pollinating crops. Therefore, destruction of bee colonies should be a last resort (we always remove combs / block entry to prevent secondary poisoning of farmed bee hives). In addition we usually liaise with local bee-keepers to relocate and domesticate feral honey bees (Apis Mellifera). It is a fact that honey bees are declining (colony collapse disorder).  Therefore, re-location should be a priority werever possible. Hives should only be destroyed in extremely rare circumstances. In addition, an extensive environmental risk assessment is required if this is done.

There are 250 bee species in the UK, including many Bumble (Bombus sp.), miner (Andrena sp.) and Mason bees (Osmia sp.) which are also beneficial for pollination of crops, are harmless and will only sting if extremely provoked.

The latter two are solitary (90% of UK bee species are solitary). However, they can appear to swarm and are often seen early spring (before significant wasp numbers are present) on sunny south facing surfaces. They disappear at the onset of summer.

 

red mason bee

Red mason bee “Osmia rufa”

 

 Tree bumble bees

tree bumble bee

Tree bumble bee
“Bombus hypnorum

A relative newcomer to the UK is the Tree Bumble bee (Bombus hypnorum). This species has been spreading throughout Britain since 2001, whereas before it was restricted to mainland Europe. It is now very common in the UK. Tree bumble bees use bird nest boxes are often as a nesting site. Be ware! This bumble bee will attack / sting if their nest is in danger, in contrast to most other, more docile bumble bee species. For example, this species will become agitated if a lawn mower gets too close to their nest. In general, they will be constructing their nests in March/April and usually abandoned the nest by the end of June.

 

For more information, look at the BWARS website.

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