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Bees and wasps

Pest control in Ibiza and Formentera: bees and wasps

Bees and wasps: health risks and economic losses.

Bees: bees are related to ants, belong to the Hymenoptera and, like ants, are social insects. They have a queen and morphological differences derived from their function within the colony. There are 3 castes: queen, workers and drones.

The queen, who is the only one capable of laying eggs, is fertilised by drones. These fertilised eggs produce worker bees, but the unfertilised eggs, through a process called parthenogenesis, produce drones. Parthenogenesis, because of the chromosomal characteristics of bees, can only produce males. Drones die after copulation.

Worker bees, as their name suggests, are the "working class" of the hive: they produce the wax for the combs, maintain and clean the hive and collect pollen and nectar. Worker bees are sterile, their reproductive apparatus is modified to have a defensive function: it has become the sting with which they sting us. However, it is a single-use stinger: they can only sting with it. As it is shaped like a hook, they cannot remove it, and in the process of being stung, when they try to withdraw, they leave behind the glands that produce the sting's venom and die shortly afterwards.

Bees are not predators, they feed on nectar and pollen, which gives them an important role in maintaining today's ecosystems.

Nova Control does not treat bee problems with biocidal products. To solve the problem that may be generating a swarm of bees that has settled in our environment, we will proceed to remove them mechanically, completely harmless to each of the bees, and transfer them to the facilities of a beekeeper who can provide them with a suitable environment.


Wasps: like bees, wasps are related to ants, belong to the Hymenoptera and, like bees, are social insects. They have a queen, and morphological differences depending on their role within the colony. However, there are solitary species, although these will not normally act as a pest for wasps.

They usually build their nests (called hornet nests) in the ground (underground), or in branches, bushes, household structures, as well as in buildings, infrastructure, etc., which have exposed areas and recesses, but at the same time provide shelter.

In social species, the queen survives the winter by hiding in dry places sheltered from the elements, such as under bark, stone walls, attics... These "foundress" wasps become active during the spring, when they start to build a new nest, with a cardboard-like material made of wood and their own saliva.

Once the new individuals develop, the queen will continue to lay eggs, while the workers will be responsible for bringing food to the new clutches. It should be noted that, like bees, many queen wasps have the ability to produce fertile males from unfertilised eggs through parthenogenesis.

The workers lack the ability to reproduce, and their ovipositor has been transformed into the stinger with which they sting us (as is the case with bees).


Bees, wasps and economic losses.

This type of hymenopteran is not usually accompanied by the generation of significant economic losses: they do not damage the structure of buildings, they do not have such a capacity for propagation and bad reputation that their presence can generate a loss of reputation and image, and although we can find some species that seek to feed on our food, effective and timely control solves the problem without major complications.

It is therefore advisable to keep their presence under control within certain limits according to the type of environment in which they are present (public areas, hotels, homes...), but on the basis that in certain cases, these hymenoptera (both wasps and bees) can be more beneficial to us and the environment than harmful.


Bees, wasps and health risks.

From a health point of view, it is their stings, which in some cases can cause severe pain, that are worth noting. Only in a very small proportion of the population can they cause a severe allergic reaction. This reaction can result in anaphylactic shock leading to death by suffocation. It is therefore always advisable to be cautious around wasps and bees.

The current estimate of the percentage of allergic people is about 1% for children and about 3% for adults.

Identification and control of bees and wasps.

Identification of bee and wasp infestation:



Control of bees and wasps by Integrated Pest Management (IPM):

-Prior inspection.

-Control of organisational measures.

-Control of structural measures.

-Mechanical removal of the swarm (in the case of bees).

-Application of biocides (in the case of unprotected wasps).

For a more detailed description of our work methodology, please consult the description of our Integrated Pest Management (IPM).


Bees and wasps in Ibiza and Formentera: main species.

European honey bee (Apis mellifera): also known as domestic bee or honey bee, as it is a domestic species, used for commercial purposes: honey production. The European honeybee is not a pest, but despite being a domestic species, hives can sometimes form naturally, which can occupy structures in inhabited areas (or in their immediate vicinity), which can pose a risk to people living in the vicinity.

The Nova Control procedure in the event of such a warning is to remove the live swarm of bees. We proceed by physical and harmless methods, to move them to the premises of a beekeeper who can provide them with a place where they do not pose a threat to children, pets or adults.

Bees feed on nectar and pollen from flowers. Bees play a large role as pollinators within ecosystems. A chemical measure should never be used to deal with a honey bee problem.

There are many subspecies of Apis mellifera, in Europe alone we can find more than 10 species.

remove hive ibiza formentera fumigate wasps exterminate wasps bees


Common wasp (Vespula vulgaris): 12-17 mm long. It is distributed throughout most of Europe, and although it is more common in agricultural or rural areas, it is also present in urban areas. They are well known for their stings. For most people they are no more than a momentary nuisance with initial severe pain and minor local swelling.

However, they can be a serious problem for people sensitive to their venom, which can lead to death from anaphylactic shock.

They have a varied diet, feeding on nectar, but also on other insects and food scraps they may find in our environment.

They are normally active only in the spring and summer months, after which their activity begins to decline as autumn sets in. In winter, the entire colony dies except for the queen, who will hibernate until spring, when she will found a new colony. June, July and August are the peak months for the common wasp.

Normally, wasps build their nests at low altitudes, in sheltered hollows and recesses. They often build their nests in artificial structures (eaves of roofs, inside frames, cars or boats parked for a long time in the same spot...). The structure of the nests is made of a wood derivative that they make themselves with their chewing mouthparts.


Vespula vulgaris, known as the common wasp or European wasp or common yellow-jacket isolated on white background. Dorsal view of wasp.


Yellowjacket wasp (Vespula germanica): a wasp species of Mediterranean origin, but which has now spread to all continents as an invasive species. Classified as a pest when it affects agriculture, livestock, beekeeping or tourism.

As with the common wasp, it is an aggressive species with a venomous sting, capable of causing anaphylactic shock leading to death in people who are particularly sensitive to its action.


Wasp Vespula germanica (female) on a white background


European hornet (Vespa crabro): absent from the Balearic Islands, but not from the Iberian Peninsula. However, given its confusion with the Asian wasp and its importance in ecosystems, it is a species that is always interesting to know. This hymenopteran is very large, measuring between 2.5 and 3.5 mm, with the females being larger than the rest of the individuals.

They feed on other invertebrates, but also on sap, nectar or fruit. Only the female lays fertile eggs, and their nests are usually located in forests and rural areas at low altitudes.


Big wasps - European hornets - are building a nest.


Mammoth wasp (Megascolia maculata): this is the largest hymenopteran species in Europe, reaching up to 4-6 cm. They are the second largest wasp species in the world: they are only surpassed in size by the Japanese hornets (Vespa mandarinia japonica).

It is not an easily detectable species in Ibiza, but it is present, so when identifying the pest we have, it is useful to know about it to avoid confusing it with the Asian wasp (Vespa velutina).

The mammoth wasp is a calm and not very aggressive species, and in the event of a sting, despite its large size, its consequences will not be any different to those of a common wasp sting (although it should be taken into account that in the case of people sensitive to its venom, they can be extremely serious, as with the common wasp). In any case, as we have said, unless they are disturbed, it is very rare for them to sting people.

Another difference with respect to the usual pest wasps is that they do not create colonies, they are a solitary species.

The mammoth wasp's diet is based on flower nectar, which is why they play an important role as pollinators.


The mammoth wasp (Megascolia maculata) Scola giant wasp on purple flower


Asian wasp (Vespa velutina): The Asian wasp is an invasive species, which, as its name suggests, comes from Asia. It is a large species, up to 3.2 cm for queens. It can be confused with other native species that are not harmful to local ecosystems, such as the European hornet (Vespa cabro) or the mammoth wasp (Megascolia maculata).

As with other large wasps, the Asian wasp is not particularly aggressive towards people, unless it feels attacked. Its sting has a venom similar to that of the common wasp (Vespula vulgaris). In practice, this means that the risks of an Asian wasp sting are the same as those of a common wasp: severe pain at the moment of the sting accompanied by local inflammation in most cases, and the possibility of anaphylactic shock leading to death for people allergic to wasp stings. However, there is a difference: their larger size translates into a greater amount of venom per sting.

Therefore, it is always advisable to be cautious and to contact either the local administration or a pest control company if you have detected a nest or solitary specimens.

The Asian wasp is a social insect, building its nests both in artificial structures that provide shelter and in the natural environment, preferably in the tops of tall trees.

The most serious damage they are causing as a pest is the destruction of honeybee hives (Apis mellifera). The adult bees feed on sweet liquids, such as honey or nectar. But to feed their larvae, they use other insects, including bees, which they kill en masse by severing their heads. They can wipe out entire hives if they do not act in time.

This has 2 consequences:

1-Economic: it ruins beekeepers who are left without production.

2-Environmental: it negatively affects the biodiversity of local ecosystems. Both because of the predatory role on other insects that are not bees, and because of the repercussions that the decrease in the bee population has on the pollination process of the plants with which they interact in a normal situation. The decline of the bee population negatively affects the pollination process of the flora.

Nest of Vespa Velutina in Santander, Cantabria, Spain.


Nova Control has the professionals, resources and experience necessary to guarantee the correct control of pests and microorganisms both in Ibiza and Formentera, always seeking to cover the service in a discreet and professional manner.

At Nova Control, we always try to adapt to the needs and requirements of our clients, whether they are public, private or private entities.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us:

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If you have any questions or doubts, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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+34 604 04 82 98

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