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Bring back the bee

Anglesey Council’s pest control team hit the headlines for the wrong reasons recently after they thought they were responding to a wasp infestation, but ended up wiping out 1,500 Welsh black honey bees.

Even without costly mistakes like this, bees are in danger of disappearing from our environment. Farming practices continue to disturb natural habitats and the honey bee is under attack from the varroa mite.

A national “Don’t Step on a Bee Day” and Burt’s Bees’ “Bring Back the Bee” campaign are positive steps in the fight to save the UK’s bee population, but with 25% of all bee types endangered, much more needs to be done.

A fear of being stung by bees may leave many people to perceive bees as pests, but BPCA regulated pest controllers, including ourselves, will not apply bee treatments unless there is a serious threat to human life.

At Harvey Environmental Services, we believe it is morally wrong for pest controllers to destroy bees’ nests when they need all the help they can to increase their numbers and continue making a valuable contribution to our environment and economy. This is why we back campaigns from organisations like Burt’s Bees, and why we will not be found killing bees.

“Bees aren’t protected in the UK, but given their diminishing numbers, pest controllers should always explore other avenues before eradication,” said Martin Harvey, managing director of Harvey Environmental Services.

“One third of all food is pollination dependent and bees contribute £400 million to the economy each year so it really is vital we do all we can to protect them. If their nest is not causing any problems to your property, or not putting people in danger, it is best they are left alone and unprovoked. Bees will not return to the same nesting site the following year and their colony numbers will decline naturally by late July, if not sooner.

“If the nest is in an accessible place such as bushes, trees or sheds, it may be necessary for a pest controller or local beekeeper to relocate the nest. Eradication of bee nests should always be a last resort, but for pest controllers like ourselves, it is not an option we would consider, preferring to safeguard these extremely valuable insects for generations to come.

“We want to do all we can to help get bee numbers back up, and through our commitment to not destroying them and their nests, as well as supporting campaigns like Bring Back the Bee, we are taking a step in the right direction.”

If you are concerned about a bee colony on your premises, please contact us for advice on 01282 866554 or enquiries@harveyenviro.com