Bee stings are extremely painful and potentially fatal, but the risk of being stung can be reduced considerably just by taking some precautions.
Bees are essential to the natural eco-system, as they assist in pollinating plants and helping them grow. However, the presence of these insects can cause alarm for some people. In addition, these insects also have a fondness for pastries and fruits (generally sweet and sugary foods), and can sometimes be found concealed in food. Bee sting hospitalisations and even deaths are common across the world.
The are hundreds of different varieties of bees, wasps and hornets all over the world. New Zealand is home to a variety of native bee species, and introduced species like the honey bee. Honey bees work hard to pollinate flowers and are essential in fertilising plants for our consumption. Native species of bees look similar to the honeybee but are generally smaller in size. It is important to gain an understanding of the habits, appearance and life cycle of these insects in order to determine the most appropriate type of bee or wasp control for your situation.
How to Identify Bees
Bees are usually golden brown or dull yellow in colour, with black stripes on their body, and black legs. They are often found in trees, wall cavities, compost bins and other areas with cavities like abandoned suitcases.
While bees generally only sting when provoked, they are still very dangerous to humans when their hives or nests are built near populated areas, as they can sometimes be unwittingly disturbed.
Bees are most active during summer and autumn, and this is when the most stings occur. Bee stings are extremely painful, and to the small fraction of the population with severe bee sting allergies, they can be fatal.
How To Handle A Bee Infestation In or Near The Home
Handling a bee problem on your property is highly dangerous and can result in disaster. Only a licenced professional pest technician with the appropriate personal protective equipment should attempt to deal with a bee nest. We often receive calls from clients who have landed in the hospital after trying to treat bees on their own. If you find a large bee nest on or near your property, exercise great caution when frequenting that area. We recommend the following:
- Stay far away from the nest and ensure all children and pets are sheltered away from the nest.
- Store all sources of food, particularly anything containing protein or sugar and pet food, indoors.
- In summer, bees sometimes drink from the water bowls of pets. This can be prevented by positioning a shallow tray filled with water and floating corks on a level that’s above the pet bowl, and in the line of flight of the bees. The corks enable the bees to safely land, so they will tend to be more attracted to the tray than the water bowl. This helps your pet to avoid the risk of being stung by a bee in their bowl.
- Be careful about leaving soft drink cans open, particularly in the summer, as sugar-laden liquids attract bees and can result in someone’s throat or mouth getting stung, with devastating consequences which might even include respiratory obstruction.
- Call your trusted Flick team to safely remove the nest from your premises.
If you have any questions about pest control services for bees, give us a ring at 0800 101 969 or get in touch using our contact form.