Spring has sprung, the wildflowers are in bloom and gardens all over Perth are buzzing with busy little bees doing two very important jobs: spreading pollen, and making delicious honey. Bees form a vital part of the ecosystem, but unfortunately, all that sweetness does come with more than a little sting! The presence of bees in or around a home can be harmful, painful and for allergy sufferers, very dangerous. Beehives can also cause damage to your property, damaging paint and brickwork – in short, these buzzing little friends are fantastic for the planet, but not great to have as close neighbours.
The bees are abuzz
Here in Western Australia, there’s almost a thousand types of bee: from the ubiquitous European honeybee to the Australian Blue-Banded Bee and far, far more. Most of these species cannot sting humans, as they are too small to do so; but there’s plenty of stinging bees in Perth and across WA. They can be a particular nuisance in the Spring months, as this is the time of year that they’re most likely to swarm, and these swarms are not infrequently found around (or even in!) your home. From dodging bees while hanging up your laundry, to being surprised to find unwelcome tenants making their hives in your brickwork or around your open windows, many Perth homes find each year that these helpful-but-harmful insects are far too close for comfort.
Why bees swarm
Swarming is a fascinating process, as long as it’s not happening near your doorstep! It’s a natural part of the life cycle of bees, which occurs as the weather warms up and the colony expands. Bee colonies only have one queen, and may have thousands of worker bees at this time of year. The queen is critical for the survival of the colony, giving off a “queen pheromone” which basically keeps the colony together. But eventually, as the colony gets larger and larger, not all workers are able to access the queen, which leads the colony to the need to create a new queen. When this happens, the old queen will fly off with part of the old colony to create a new colony: so what you’re seeing is a swarm of worker bees surrounding their precious queen as they search for a new home.
Which is lovely, except for when it’s YOUR home.
If you find yourself with a swarm on your hands, it’s important not to try to deal with it yourself: these bees are on a critical mission to protect their queen and establish a new colony, and while their focus is on finding a new nest and they really don’t want any trouble, they can (understandably!) to be defensive if they feel threatened. Trying to relocate the swarm of your own accord, or to destroy it, can be a very painful mistake.
Swarms often move on quickly – within a few days, or even just a day. Remember, bees die when they sting humans, so they don’t want to hurt you: as such, the prudent move under ordinary circumstances may be to simply exercise due caution and stay far out of their way. But in some cases, they may also decide that your home is now their home, settle down and make themselves comfortable – which is far less than an ideal cohabitating situation.
So if “ordinary circumstances” don’t apply – perhaps the bees are worrying you, have been around for a few days and don’t appear to be going anywhere, you have an allergy sufferer in your home or your dog thinks this is an exciting new toy – then it’s time to get in the experts.
We don’t destroy: we relocate
As we’ve mentioned, bees have a very important role to play in the ecosystem here in Western Australia – and in fact, everywhere. With deadly bee diseases decimating the bee population across much of the planet, and Western Australia thankfully free of many of these diseases, we’re lucky to be living in a state where bees are still thriving as they do their vital work of spreading the pollen that our flora needs to survive (which provides food for much of our fauna in turn). Here at Pesti Pest Control, we love and respect bees – but we’re well-aware of how painful and even dangerous they can be.
Our cost-effective bee treatment solutions primarily involves removing the beehive – if it is accessible – and relocating it to a more suitable forever-home. By doing so, we are able to keep your home safe while protecting the bee population of Western Australia – a win-win for humans and bees alike.
What you can do
There’s steps you can take to make your home less appealing to bees on a mission to find a new place to settle down. Bees love to create nests in small cavities, so plug up any wall cavities; they’re also fans of organic debris such as tree branches, so remove these from your garden. You can also use mothballs around the exterior of your home – they contain a powerful pesticide which will send bees packing.
Bees: they’re the bees’ knees!
You may have heard of the famous quote attributed to Albert Einstein, “If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.” While apparently there’s no evidence that the great scientist actually said this, it’s so believable fundamentally because the words ring true: we need bees! By relocating hives to more appropriate sites, we’re able to respect this fascinating and extremely important insect while keeping our loved ones safe and sound.