Bees (or Wasps) In The Office

It's that time of year again, when bees are out and about making their nests and rearing their colonies. Sometimes bees (and wasps, for that matter) will make their nests in places which are felt to be inconvenient for those who have to live or work close to them. 

It's quite common for people to find there is a bees' nest or wasp nest close to an office window.  During the summer months, who wants to work in the office with the windows closed, especially if there is no air conditioning?

Yet I'm thankful that people don't wish to harm the bees, and I'm also finding these days there is even some sympathy for wasps - which are (despite their generally poor reputations) good for natural pest control in gardens, and indeed, are pollinators.

These days more people want to
help bees than harm them!

Here is a query I received recently, specifically with regard to bees, and a simple solution - one which also could help deter wasps without killing them:

"Just above our office window there is a bees' nest under the eaves of the building - so quite high up. The problem is that every week or so for the past three weeks they have become very active and when the window is open we find dozens of bees flying into the office. We value the bees but, in the current warm weather it's not pleasant to have to keep the window closed. Can you give any advice please? Is this behaviour likely to continue or will it settle down?"

My reply:

Bee colonies only last a season, and so the activity will end completely, although I cannot say exactly when.  However, it's vital bees are able to produce queens (which they produce at the end of the season), because they are the bees which ensure future generations.

My recommendation is to try attaching a temporary screen in front of open windows, such as a piece of net curtain or similar.  It's possible to get fabric which is so light, all you would need is tape to hold it in place.  Even garden netting (with very small holes) would also do the job.

From what you describe, I don't think you'll need the fabric in place for very long.

Hope this helps.

The lady responded and said they came up with something similar, and that in fact, activity from the bees had decreased.

A similar solution could be used in the case of wasps

If you are especially concerned about wasps, try a deet free, non-toxic insect repellent.   I tend to recommend products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (Eucalyptus Maculata Citriodora such as:

Alternatively, you could try an insect repellent containing picaridin:   

You may be able to spray the insect repellant actually on to the net fabric you attach to the window - I understand this is probably okay for the Incognito product, but check with the manufacturer.

Also, keep sweet drinks and bowls of soft ripe fruit away from the window!

Remember, even wasp nests will only last a season, so if they really disturb you, but you can keep them out of the way, then they will be gone soon.


.......bees are, of course, wonderful

The more you learn about bees, the more you'll appreciate these wonderful little creatures, I'm sure!

However, if you need further assistance with bees, please take a look at this page.

Bees, Wasps, and Ants: The Indispensable Role of Hymenoptera in Gardens

"Few insects are more important than bees, wasps, and ants. They maintain the garden’s biological balance, fertilize vegetables, fruits, and flowers, and recycle nutrients within the soil. It’s no exaggeration to say that a garden can’t be understood without an understanding of its insects."


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