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Posts tagged “Wasps, bee's and hornets”

Its spring and in the pest control calendar we’re just about to see the wasps appear, one little insect that gets confused by both professional pest controllers and the general public alike is the mason bee or as its commonly referred to the masonry bee. 
 
These harmless but extremely important pollinators emerge in early spring and begin foraging for the foodstuffs that will be used to rear their young: bee bread. Bee bread is, as you’d imagine with anything to do with bees, simply a form of ‘super-food’; this is flower pollen mixed with bee saliva, proteins from the surface of the flowers and nectar. These remarkable insects form the base of a massive food chain that supports most life on planet earth and its often reported that without bees, mankind has just four years left to live. 
To fully understand insects we have to know that they are given a classification and belong to different Orders; think of dog breeds; not all dogs are the same but certain types are associated with one another such as labradors and retrievers. Wasps, bees and hornets all belong to the insect Order Hymenoptera: the word is derived from Greek which describes a membrane – Hymen and Ptera; wings. Insects of this order all have two pairs of wings and Hymenoptera covers the group of highly specialised insects that often associate in large colonies with a complex social organisation. 
 
Whats is it about wasp stings that make then so painful? I get that mossie bites itch and ants give you a nasty little nip but as a pest controller I do get stung by wasps from time to time and why oh why are they so painful? 
 
So I did a little research; for me its like a lightening bolt when they sting followed by nothing and then nothing, after a couple of hours I get the 'itch' and ohh what an itch. Then the swelling and more itching, no pain except for that first few seconds but the swelling is painful and the itch keeps me awake at night. 
The hot plume of Saharan air has certainly mixed things up with the wasps, everyone enjoys hot weather and these insectivores are no different. 
I couldn't help myself when I saw these poppies growing at the side of the road and to my delight someone else couldn't resist either! 
We love bee's here at All Aspects Pest Control; we don't keep them but as someone who gets called out to destroy their nests and colonies you soon realise that these amazing insects don't actually pose a threat to us and they are something that should be protected. 
We get numerous calls to reports of wasps only to find out that they're bumble bee's or honey bee's so we have put together a quick visual guide to what is a pest and what isn't. 
Some hoverflies are disguised to look like wasps and we have a policy of not treating bee's unless its absolutely necessary, so use this guide to help work out if its wasps or bee's. 
The striking yellow and black banding on wasps has always thought to be a warning sign - "Danger I sting!" but scientists have discovered that the bands are the insect equivalent of solar panels allowing the wasps to covert UVB into insectricity. 
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