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Old 23-Jun-2009, 06:11 PM
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Bee (poss wasp) expert?

Any one on here know anything about agressive bees (they don't look like wasps)? My wife got stung 3x at once (all on the face) with no warning earlier in the garden. I went out to investigate and there are what look like drab honey bees buzzing in and out of a mock orange bush. They are a similar size/shape to normal honey bees but MUCH faster and with a dark faintly banded abdomen. I was initially non-threatening and still got buzzed in the hair. I then got a very long stick and hit the bush (OK, very silly in hindsight). One of the bees made a 'bee-line' straight for my face and stung me before I even had chance to duck. None of us ended up with embedded stings. I've got rid of wasps nests before but these things are VERY scary!

Any advice appreciated.

Please don/t ask for photos!!!

Keith
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Old 23-Jun-2009, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keith888
Any one on here know anything about agressive bees (they don't look like wasps)? My wife got stung 3x at once (all on the face) with no warning earlier in the garden. I went out to investigate and there are what look like drab honey bees buzzing in and out of a mock orange bush. They are a similar size/shape to normal honey bees but MUCH faster and with a dark faintly banded abdomen. I was initially non-threatening and still got buzzed in the hair. I then got a very long stick and hit the bush (OK, very silly in hindsight). One of the bees made a 'bee-line' straight for my face and stung me before I even had chance to duck. None of us ended up with embedded stings. I've got rid of wasps nests before but these things are VERY scary!

Any advice appreciated.

Please don/t ask for photos!!!

Keith

Keith

I had a similar problem this time last year and it appears that the bees were swarming and trying to find a new home for a nest. I caught them trying to get in through a vent above a window and then through the air bricks on the east side of the house.


I blocked these off and the problem went away in a coupel of days.

I saw something similar on the Victorian Farm program lastyear and they advised getting a local bee keeper in to take them away.
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Old 23-Jun-2009, 06:44 PM
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Hi Chris,

I'm certainly tending to the view that professional help is needed! They seem so much more agressive than normal bees though. I've just been out trying to get a better look at one to help identification but I'm too nervous to agitate the bush so its not easy. They are very dark and look larger than normal honey bees but not wasp shaped. There are fuschias out in flower next to that bush but only normal honey bees and bumble bees on that.

Keith
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Old 23-Jun-2009, 07:14 PM
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No expert, but saw a programme once...
Sounds like the behavior of African Honey Bees, nicknamed 'killer bees' because of their speed and aggression, they'll come after you if they have just a vague suspicion that you're a threat!

Thing is though, i seem to recall they're not found in europe, just africa and america. Can't imagine why they'd want to go to Nottingham!
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Old 23-Jun-2009, 07:16 PM
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No expert, but saw a programme once...
Sounds like the behavior of African Honey Bees, nicknamed 'killer bees' because of their speed and aggression, they'll come after you if they have just a vague suspicion that you're a threat!

Thing is though, i seem to recall they're not found in europe, just africa and america. Can't imagine why they'd want to go to Nottingham!

Sounds like another case of illegal immegrants!
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Old 23-Jun-2009, 07:29 PM
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I was trying to get a close look at one for identification but there was no activity. Thus, I threw a stick at the bush from a long way away. After a few seconds the whole bush came alive ie most definately a swarm of some description. They were buzzing around up to 10 feet away from the bush looking for something to attack. I too did not think we had the agressive strains in the UK. If thats what normal bees do in a swarm then I hate to think what the killer bees do!! Funny thing is that we have now been stung 4 time between us and not once was a stinger left.

Keith
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Old 23-Jun-2009, 07:30 PM
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A quick spray of petrol and a match will sort it...

Seriously though, it sounds like they are swarming to find another nest. They are aggresive because the queen is in there somewhere so they are protecting her.

Your local council will be able to help, and will most likely put you in touch with a local bee keeper who will be able to get them into a hive and take them away for you.


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Old 24-Jun-2009, 11:14 AM
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I managed to get a bit closer later on and you could see an obvious wasp nest in the bush. I managed to get a photo and its clear that the big b****rs flying in/out of the nest have little or no yellow striping which accounts for my confusion at identifying them. I spoke to the local wildlife expert at work this morning and he reckons they are Median wasps which are bigger than the native version and are known to be particularly aggressive at defending the nest. Apparently an import from Europe escaping a warming continent!

Keith
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Old 24-Jun-2009, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keith888
I managed to get a bit closer later on and you could see an obvious wasp nest in the bush. I managed to get a photo and its clear that the big b****rs flying in/out of the nest have little or no yellow striping which accounts for my confusion at identifying them. I spoke to the local wildlife expert at work this morning and he reckons they are Median wasps which are bigger than the native version and are known to be particularly aggressive at defending the nest. Apparently an import from Europe escaping a warming continent!

Keith

According to Google the Median wasp came over in the early '80s and is now established even north of the Scottish border!
Their nests usually hang from tree or bush branches, and they can be aggressive in defence of them-I think you already found out that last bit...............

John


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Old 24-Jun-2009, 12:51 PM
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Speak to the local council as they have people to deal with wasps nests who will take them away for you, usually foc.


I'd rather die peacefully in my sleep like my Grandfather,
than screaming in terror like his passengers.- Jim Harkins

Ducati 748S | Ducati Hypermotard 1100S | 600-620SS DesmoDue Racebike #111 <-- Sold!! | Avanti Race Parts
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