Honey Bees, Bumble Bees, Solitary Bees and Wasps

Honey Bee Foraging on a Flower
Honey Bee Foraging on a Flower

3. Solitary bees

There are over two hundred different types in the UK most do not sting, any that could do not because their stings are too weak to penetrate us. If your garden, house or outbuildings present the right accommodation requirements then you may be blessed with solitary bees, which come in all sizes and shapes and colours. The adult bees are visible only for 6-8 weeks during their breeding cycle which coincides with the flowering period of those flowers that produce pollen and nectar suitable for their particular needs. This flowering period often coincides with the honeybee swarming period thus causing confusion as to what bees they are. Although no danger exists it is a fact that some people are terrified because they do not understand the bees. To remove solitary bees to a different location is impossible and it is illegal to poison them just as with bumble bees. There is a method to relocate them if done at the right time, that is to deny them access to the nest site they emerged from with the use of a screen, use one of the artificial nest blocks that you can purchase or make, site this in front of the screen. When the bees have disappeared after a few weeks remove the nest block to a new location in the garden in a sunny South facing area. You may have to erect the screen in successive years as well as providing artificial nest sites. It would be easier to learn exactly which specie of bee you have, study its lifestyle in depth then ignore the problem you currently perceive.

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