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The most well known are the bumble bees. They look almost too big to fly with their striped, hairy bodies and the familiar 'buzzing' noise they make are common place in a garden environment in the summer. There are 25 species of this type of bee in Britain and not all of them are striped. They form fairly small colonies of no more than a few hundred individuals. The colony is headed by the 'queen bee' who lays the eggs, while worker bees collect pollen and nectar which keeps the colony supplied. They are very important as pollinators for both farmers and gardeners.

Honey bees are much smaller and less hairy than bumble bees. Honeybees form huge colonies of as many as 20,000 individuals, all the offspring of a single 'queen bee'. As well as producing honey, beeswax can also be obtained from their hives.

Bee nests

Large colonies of bees can occupy nests containing over 20,000 bees. Nests can be built in trees, lofts, sheds, nest boxes, compost heaps and other secluded places. While bees will defend their nests, they are unlikely to attack you if left alone. If you do want to have a bee nest removed, you should only use a trained professional.

We do not provide a service for the removal of bees. If you have problems associated with bees, please check your telephone directory or alternatively, check the following links for contact information and details of local beekeepers in your area:


The common wasp is generally regarded as a nuisance. They are social insects, forming colonies inside nests specially constructed in soil banks, roof spaces and in cavities in trees and walls. They are therefore frequently associated with domestic housing.

Wasps can, however, prove beneficial to gardeners as the nest develops during the spring and early summer, the queen and the first workers prey upon more harmful insects and scraps of meat to feed the larvae. Therefore, they help to control insect pests and clear carcasses. They are normally too busy at this stage to be a nuisance. 

Later in the season, as the larval rearing is reduced, the workers search for sweet substances (causing damage to ripening fruit) and can become a significant nuisance in the home.

Preventing a wasp infestation

Follow the simple guidelines below to stop your home and garden being plagued by wasps:

  • cover sweet smelling foods 
  • make sure dustbins have tight fitting lids 
  • do not allow food scraps from the sink waste to build up over your gully drain grating
  • clear away fruit fallen around the base of trees 

Dealing with wasp problems

In your home, a squirt from an "ozone friendly" fly or wasp killer aerosol will bring the invaders down one at a time. Be careful not to spray over any food or drink that has been left out.

Nests in roofs or hanging in sheds or rafters, etc. need a more cautious approach and are best left to trained professionals.

We do not provide a service for the removal of wasps. If you have problems associated with wasps, you will need to engage the services of a commercial pest control company.


From a distance, hoverflies appear similar to bees and wasps from a distance, except that they hover and only have one pair of wings like flies. They eat many pest insects and therefore, are very beneficial in the garden. Once familiar with the difference between hoverflies and bees and wasps, you will soon realise that they are actually quite different and that there is no need to feel threatened by them.

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