Be a friend to a bee and show the yellow card to a wasp

30 May 2017

Wasp Wasp

Residents worried about bees and wasps are being shown how to take the sting out of the situation.

Pete Bancroft, South Derbyshire District Council’s pest control officer for 20 years, is experiencing an influx of summer calls.

Part of his job is to provide low cost treatments to deal with pesky wasps, but often he is mistakenly called out to do battle with bees.

Peter said:

“Wasps are a nuisance. Solitary bees on the other hand, along with bumblebees and honeybees, are incredibly important to help pollinate plants to make our fruit and vegetables grow.

“So often it’s a case of mistaken identity. At this time of year many of the calls we receive are from customers who confuse bees for wasps because they do look very similar and they both nest in the same sorts of places.

“Our advice is to be a friend to a bee and show the yellow card to a wasp.”

To help people distinguish between the two, Pete is passing on his extensive knowledge and experience.

Pete explained:

“Bees are usually more of a brown or amber colour, with rounder bodies which appear quite hairy. They also have hairy legs. They are interested in collecting nectar and so will mainly spend their time visiting flowers, although they may show an interest in sugary foods and drinks. They can generally be discouraged by simply covering food.

“Wasps are more slender and appear smooth to the naked eye with very few hairs on their legs. They have bright yellow and black stripes. They will show a much more persistent and aggressive interest in food and drink. When wasps nest you will see lots coming and going.”

The advice for those who have bees is simple.

Pete says:

“If you leave them in peace they’ll leave you alone. They’ll be gone by autumn, and the plants in your garden will look much the better for it.”

South Derbyshire residents who have a wasps’ nest that needs treating can contact Pete by calling the council’s contact centre tel: 01283 595795.