Pest Control - Bees
What do they look like?
Bees can be easily mistaken for wasps. Bees have the familiar yellow and black bands, as do wasps, however, they are much less pronounced in the bee. The bee’s body is more furry than the wasps and little yellow pollen sacs are usually visible on the hind limbs. There are many different kinds of bees, some like the honey bee and bumble bee are well known. Others like the leaf-cutting bee feed on plants. Burrowing bees nest in soil and garden structures and masonry bees in stonework. They all look bee like and telling them apart is difficult. They are useful insects, feeding on garden pests, garden debris and pollinating flowers.
Honey and bumble bees cause no damage in the garden, they are vital pollinators for insect pollinated fruit and vegetables. Other bees cause no significant damage. Bees can sting and this can be serious for the small proportion of the population who are allergic to them. You should always check anyone who has been stung by a bee for an allergic reaction. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include headache, fever, loss of consciousness, swelling of the face, tongue lips and body, rashes and possible breathing difficulties. When you have been stung by a bee, it leaves a stinger in your skin. The stinger continues to release venom into your body for upto 20 minutes after the initial sting. You should always try to remove the stinger as soon as possible, the stinger looks like a small splinter. A bee sting will cause a red swollen welt on your skin. The best way to avoid a bee sting is to stand still and even let it land on you. In most cases it will simply fly away.
Bee swarms are commonly caused by honey bees during very hot weather at the beginning of summer (May-June). Swarms occur where a colony of bees produces more than one queen, the colony then split and one of the queens leaves the hive along with her workers to find a suitable site to create a new colony.
The council is reluctant to carryout control measures for bees on environmental grounds as they are so essential to the well being of the welsh countryside. We have a policy to only destroy bees in extreme circumstances and where they constitute a credible threat of danger and risk to public health.
If you have a swarm of bees on your property, they may just be resting and may move on in a day or so. Beekeepers Association may come and collect the swarm if it is safe to do so (if the swarm is accessible). If the swarm is not accessible i.e. is within a chimney, destruction may be necessary but each case will be assessed on its own merits.