Monday, 13 January 2014 01:27

Bee and Wasp Season

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Between the months of October and March both bees and wasps become very active. This is also the time when many people ring their local council to report wasps and bees on public land. This is the best course of action when the bees or wasps are on public land, as the council can then send out someone to look after the problem, however there are a couple of things you need to be able to tell the council in order for it to happen.

1. Is it a bee or a wasp?

This is important, as in most cases the wasps will be killed and where possible the bees will be collected and taken away by a beekeeper.

2. Where is the swarm or nest?

The exact location is important to find them easily. Are they in a tree, if so, what does the tree look like and where is the tree located in the park? Are they coming out of the ground, are there several places they are coming out of the ground?

3. Your best contact phone number

This is so the contractor can ring you and find out exactly where the bees or wasps are and best access to them and when they will be there.


Both wasps and bees have been introduced to New Zealand. Where the bees have a positive impact on the environment by pollinating plants, wasps are considered a pest.


How can you tell if it is a bee or a wasp?

 

Bee


honeybee



Wasp


Common Wasp

The picture is of a Common Wasp


Physical characteristics

Furry body and legs

Orange brown colour

Smooth shiny body and legs

Generally yellow and black

Swarm / nest

Swarm

 

Found in trees or fences, often shaped like a rugby ball.


Bee Swarm - outside Grundfos - 24 Oct 2013

Do not swarm

 

Common and German wasps nest underground, in crevices in buildings or in trees.


Paper wasps nest in trees, fences or on buildings may have many wasps on the outside of the nest. The nest is usually small, growing from a few cells to about the size of an apple.


 Asian Paper wasp

The above picture is a Asian Paper wasp on a nest of about 6 cells.

 

Bees will swarm in order to make a new hive when there is overcrowding in the current one. They are generally docile when swarming as they do not have a hive to protect, however, do not approach them, especially if you are allergic to wasps and bees.   The main picture of the swarm in the tree was taken outside our building in Albany, however, when our beekeeper arrived half an hour later the swarm had moved on! The swarm on the wall in the picture below shows that bees will settle in a number of places.

Bee swarm - on wall mid size

The other pollinator around at this time of the year is the bumblebee. They are relatively docile and are not likely to sting unless provoked. They live in small nests in dense vegetation or holes in the ground.

 bumblebee

Information about wasps is found on many regional council websites (eg. Waikato Regional Council), Landcare Research and the Department of Conservation website.

Read 2078 times Last modified on Monday, 20 April 2015 22:55