Bees

The principal species of Bee that sometimes cause problems in the UK are the Honey Bee, Bumble Bee and Masonry Bee although there are actually thousands of different species. The Honey Bee is a beneficial insect of great importance in pollination.

Numbers have plummeted in recent decades so control measures should only be employed as a last resort in exceptional circumstances. They are not normally considered pests and generally sting only when severely provoked (Honey Bees die when stinging a large animal such as a human). They are social insects.

The Bumble Bee, like the Honey Bee, is also an important pollinator of plants. It is also very docile and will only sting if severely provoked. Generally nests are best left alone. Treatment should only therefore be carried out as a last resort.

The Masonry Bee is not a social insect like the Honey Bee but the insects commonly group together on the sunny side of rocky outcrops and walls. Their presence can cause distress but primarily their pest status is derived from their propensity to burrow in to soft mortar.

Over time this can cause significant damage. Eggs are laid inside holes burrowed in to the stonework which is filled with pollen and nectar. The larvae feeds on this until pupation, over-wintering prior to emerging as a fully developed adult bee in the Spring.

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