At PPM we really don’t like killing bees. Simply put, you kill the bees, you’ll kill mankind. They are an important pollinator, and if you leave them alone, they will leave you alone.
The most common species of bees you will encounter in the UK include:
In comparison to other bees, these are rounder, larger and furrier and come with a variety of coloured stripes across the end of their tails. Nesting sites are normally found underground, under the decking, in abandoned bird boxes, compost bins etc.
Bumblebees have an annual life cycle (similar to that of wasps), with new nests being started each spring by queens.
The queen bumblebees are very large, and from February onwards can be seen feeding on early emerging flowers.
In Spring, the queen stocks her nest with pollen and nectar, and lays her first batch of eggs. She incubates them by sitting on the eggs while shivering her flight muscles to produce warmth. When the eggs hatch the legless grubs consume pollen and nectar, grow rapidly, and pupate after a few weeks, making up the first batch of workers, all programmed to help their mother build the nest.
By mid-summer the queen starts laying both male and female eggs. The females are fed extra food and become future queens. Both males and new queens leave the nest to mate, and the new queens burrow into the ground to wait until the following spring. The males, workers, and the old Queen die in the autumn, leaving the nest to decay.
Their banding is unique amongst the UK species. The thorax is tawny to reddish brown, the abdomen is black and tail is white. The Queens vary significantly in size, and workers are normally quite small.
They tend to establish nests in bird boxes, or in parts of buildings, and usually have a relatively high level of nest flight activity due to ‘nest surveillance’ by the drones.
As the name suggests, they are solitary insects, and you’ll rarely find them occurring in large numbers. They have a reddish-brown bottom and black body. You’ll see these small bees popping in and out of the wall or very small holes in the ground.
They nest in a wide range of cavities and have the ability to build nests by tunnelling through soft brick mortar, or exploiting pre-existing gaps.
Feral swarms may cause problems between the months of April through to June, and can set up home in undesirable places such as chimneys and wall cavities. They are small and vary in colour from golden brown to almost black.
Typically the feral swarms will first set up a temporary camp somewhere [often seen hanging from a tree branch], and in almost all cases the swarm will take off again within a day or two to occupy a most suitable permanent home elsewhere.
Contrary to popular belief bees aren’t protected and can be treated, however, they are endangered.
If you have a suspected problem with bees, and they are causing a hazard, then please call us and we can help.
I wish I had employed PPM Pest Control years ago, they do a superb job in controlling pests on our site - nothing is too much trouble.
We had a Halls of Residence that had an infestation of Pharaohs Ants. PPM were quick to identify the problem, which is important, because the wrong type of treatment worsens the problem. They put together a treatment plan, informed all of the students, and implemented the riddance program perfectly.