Well, I’m back in Blighty where it’s wet, cold and miserable. I’ve been a pestie again for a week and it’s pretty quiet so far. Apart from the honey bee swarm on the day I landed, which the guy who called us was convinced was a wasps’ nest.
Now, it took me at least 20 minutes last year to learn the difference between a wasp and a honey bee, so one could forgive those who don’t watch insects for a living the error…unless we’re talking a massive swarm hanging from a tree.
This chap had even put a sign up next to it saying ‘Warning, Wasps Nest’. I wish I’d had the camera with me. He was gobsmacked when we said we’d take them away and give them to a beekeeper, not kill them on the spot. I was dispatched to the van for the Mark 1 Swarm Removal Kit (a cardboard box and a blanket) and we conveyed them home to await collection. I’m almost getting used to driving about in a van full of bees. But not quite.
According to The Boss, this has been a bumper year for bees so far, with loads and loads of bumblebee call-outs. We don’t hurt bees, so people have been getting a bit miffed. It appears that no matter how often you repeat, ‘You are seeing bees Ma’am, they are harmless and docile, we don’t kill bees,’ and then say, ‘we can come and check if you insist, but we’ll have to charge you a call-out to cover our diesel and we won’t kill them if they’re bees,’…they still get upset when you say, ‘Yip, bumbles,’ charge them and then leave.
So, I have used my quiet week as an opportunity to make a pretty website with a whole page devoted to the difference between a wasp and a bee. It’s here if you like pictures of insects and things.
The few wasps’ nests I have been out to have been small affairs, the queens are building nicely and some nests have their first hatching of workers busy but they are only visible to passionate bird box owners and roofers. During the lull before the storm I have spent a bit of time kitting out my new van with all manner of little hooks and bungies, the better to keep things tidy.
Hoping for a break in the weather soon, it’s even been too wet to apply the fab wasp livery to the sides of the vans, ready to be accosted by the desperate at traffic lights.
I have it on good authority that as soon as the sun comes out people will venture into their gardens and have barbies and suchlike. And find their wasps.
Oh, and I’ve been promoted to ants!