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Bees & Wasps

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 Bees & Wasps

Wasps are important scavengers and insect predators. Bees are extremely valuable pollinators.

The threat of their sting is what makes them unwelcome when they nest on, in or near peoples' homes.

KEY POINTS

  1. Colonies survive for one year only.
  2. Nests are not reused.
  3. Fertilized queens overwinter and build new nests in the spring.
  4. Each wasp can sting repeatedly without dying.

Yellowjackets
1.3 to 1.6 cm (1/2 to 5/8 inches) long, and black and yellow in colour. Their paper-like nests are usually ball-shaped and can be in the ground, in walls or hanging from trees or buildings. In the summer there may be as many as 4,000 workers in a single nest. Yellowjackets become aggressive late in the summer when new queens are being produced. When they sting you a chemical is released which tells the other wasps to come and sting you too!

Bald Faced Hornets
1.6 to 1.9cm (5/8 to 3/4 inches) long and are black and white in colour. They build ball-shaped, paper-like nests in trees, shrubs and sometimes on buildings. The nests are often 12 inches or more in diameter. These hornets are very aggressive when their nest is approached or disturbed but rarely bother people at other times. We have been attacked by wasps in a nest on the other side of the yard.

Umbrella Wasps
1.3 to 2.5 cm (1/2 to 1 inches) long and are more slender than yellowjackets. They are usually mostly yellow with small areas of black. They build umbrella-shaped aerial paper-like nests with a single layer of exposed cells. They have small colonies of up to 200 workers. They rarely sting.

Mud Daubers
2.5 to 2.9 cm (1 to 1 1/8 inches) long, with a long thin "waist". They are usually mostly black with some yellow patches. Each wasp constructs its own nest out of mud or clay. They do not defend the nest so almost never sting people. They feed paralysed spiders to their young.

Honey Bees
1 to 1.9 cm (3/8 to 3/4 inches) long. They rarely sting unless provoked. Each bee can sting only once as its stinger is left in the wound and the bees disembowel themselves when they pull away from you. In the wild, they nest in hollow trees, wall voids and other protected cavities. Whole colonies can survive the winter. There can be up to 60,000 in a colony.

Bumble Bees
1 to 2.2 cm (3/8 to 7/8 inches) long, robust and hairy. Each can sting many times. They usually nest underground but are also frequently found in compost piles and sometimes in walls. Fertilized queens overwinter and establish new colonies in the spring.

What we do to remove your wasp nest

We provide control of wasps and bees when they are a health concern or hazard. Where possible, we have a professional bee keeper remove honey bees.

We wear "bee suits" and long thick gloves to protect ourselves from stings. We also wear our respirators so we do not breathe pesticide during application.

Application of pesticide using a pole duster. This device allows us to reach high places without the aid of a ladder. In this case a "hidden" wasp nest inside a wall is being treated.

 

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