Bees and Wasps
There are many species of bees and wasps found on the Mornington Peninsula, most of which are native and important pollinators of local native plants and some agricultural crops.
Two commonly observed introduced species include domesticated Honey Bees and European Wasps. Honey Bees play an integral role in the production of our food, and the Mornington Peninsula Shire is committed to working to ensure the health and survival of Honey Bees on the Peninsula. European Wasps are an introduced pest.
As both these species can sting, people can become concerned when they come across a nest, hive or swarm.
If you discover problem bees and wasps on Shire property, please report the issue.
Bees and Wasps on Private Property
The Shire does not provide bee or wasp removal services on private property.
To assist, the Shire has completed a formal Expression of Interest process to identify suitable local service providers able to assist with the safe removal of Honey Bees and European Wasps from private property. Private property owners may contact the below providers to arrange bee or wasp removal at the cost of the property owner. Property owners should check on costs when contacting service providers; noting it may be necessary for the operator to inspect before providing a quote.
Identified Bee or Wasp Removal Service Providers
President of the Mornington Peninsula Beekeepers Association (MPBA)
Mobile: 0421 514 742
PO Box 100, Upper Beaconsfield VIC 3000.
Guardian Pest Control
Phone: 03 59871787
240 Boundary Road, Dromana VIC 3936.
ABN: 59 139 565 978
It can be difficult to tell the difference between a bee and wasp problem, so the above service providers are happy to cross refer as required. In most cases, Honey Bees removed from private property will be relocated to bee hives on the Peninsula where they are cared for by bee keeper association members, though there may be some instances where bees cannot be saved and may need to be destroyed. European Wasps will be destroyed.
Beekeeping on private property
A person that wishes to keep bees on private property must be registered with the Department of Agriculture and comply with the Apiary Code of Practice 2016. Fore more information on the requirements for keeping bees, please see the Department of Agriculture website, Beekeeping for beginners.
Read on for more information on Honey Bees (including bee hives and bee swarms) and European Wasps.
A bee hive is an enclosed structure where bees live. Being enclosed allows the bees and their honeycomb to be protected from predators. Hives can form in tree hollows, roof eaves and wall cavities.
Bee swarms occur in spring and early summer when a group of bees split from a hive in search of a new home. These bees form a large slowly drifting swarm, occasionally landing to form clusters on solid objects such as fence posts, tree branches, benches, and letterboxes.
Bee swarms are generally not aggressive unless provoked, and will usually move on within a few days.
If you see a swarm of honey bees settling on your property:
- Don’t interfere with the swarm – this can aggravate the bees and makes it more difficult for removal.
- Keep children and animals well away from the swarm.
- Wear footwear to protect your feet in case bees have settled on the ground.
The Shire does not provide a bee removal service on private property.
European Wasps are an introduced pest. They are about the same size as bees but have yellow bands with black v-shaped markings down their backs. They are attracted to food and drinks and have become a pest at outdoor events.
These wasps can be especially dangerous with regard to cans of drink, as they can crawl inside unseen and then sting the throat when a drink is taken from the can. The resultant swelling in the throat can cause choking. They also have the ability to sting repeatedly and can trigger allergic reactions.
European Wasps generally make their nests in sheltered areas around buildings, rocks, trees or shrubs. The nests look like grey cardboard and can be the size of a football. You can often locate them by the stream of wasps flying to and from the nest.
The best way to control European Wasps is to destroy the nest. The safest way to do this is to contact a pest control expert to treat the nest, as the wasps can become extremely aggressive if the nest is attacked. The Shire does not provide a wasp removal service on private property. For more information on controlling European Wasps, visit the Victorian Department of Health's website at European wasp - pest control.