Get Rid of Bee Problems | Bee Removal Specialists - PEST UK

Pest control services for Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Middlesex, Wiltshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire, Surrey & London. Established 1985.

PEST UK / Pests / Get Rid of Bee Problems | Bee Removal Specialists

Get Rid of Bee Problems | Bee Removal Specialists

It is only necessary to remove bees if they have nested somewhere inconvenient which is causing problems for the people living or working nearby. Usually a swarm is harmless and only lasts a few days. However if it is located somewhere which is dangerous for people then we can collect and rehome them with a local beekeeper.

In the UK we have around 270 species of bee. 250 of theses species are solitary bees such as mason and mining bees. The other species are bumblebees and honeybees which are social and live in colonies.

What are the signs of a bee nest?

Honeybees nest in chimneys, wall cavities, roof spaces and other cavities within a property. If there is an excessive number of bees flying around your home and garden coming from multiple directions it’s likely you have a bee nest within your home or outbuildings. You may see activity around a particular part of the roof or a hole in the wall which will be where the entrance is to the bee nest. A colony consists of thousands of bees which are very noisy.

 

Why do bees swarm?

Only honeybees swarm. A swarm contains several thousand bees and ‘hangs’ in one place for several days. Garages, sheds, chimneys, outside walls, under the eaves of roofs, under trees and bushes are all favourite locations.

A swarm occurs when part of a colony splits because of overcrowding or as a natural means of reproduction. A queen, accompanied by drones and several thousand workers, leaves the nest to find a suitable new nest site. Whilst the scout bees check out possible sites, the swarm hangs.

A whole colony will desert their nest to find a new nest site if there is a parasite infestation, disease, or a lack of food or water locally.

What we do to remove bees if it is necessary?

Wherever possible we collect the bees from a nest or swarm and rehome them with a local beekeeper. However treatment of a bee nest is sometimes the only solution. Bees are not as aggressive as wasps but will sting if they think their nest is threatened. Honeybees will not hesitate to sting in this situation and can be dangerous because of the large numbers in a nest or swarm.

If the nest is in a chimney it may require two technicians using roof ladders to carry out the work which will involve an insecticide treatment. This does cost more due to the extra technician required.

What do I do afterwards?

After treatment, the bees may remain in a hyperactive state for a few hours, but activity will usually completely cease within 7 warm days (cold or wet days may prolong activity).

Mason and Mining Bees

Complete eradication of mason and mining bees is not always possible but the treatment should reduce numbers significantly. Re-pointing crumbling mortar may be the only long-term solution to stop mason bees. The affected areas will be treated with an insecticide. Mason bees will remove weak or old-style mortar, this is when it is wise to treat the infestation followed by re-pointing. They make their nests in wall cavities and in older properties will even dig out the mortar, each female lays eggs, (unlike honeybees where only the queen lays eggs), and if the mortar is soft enough will make a hole for each egg laid, into which she packs pollen and seals the hole. The egg hatches into a grub that feeds on the pollen and emerges the following Spring as an adult.

Honeybees

As well as being a nuisance the honey they produce can stain paintwork and be a target for parasites. A place that has been infested by honeybees once is likely to attract more swarms in the near future so proofing the area needs looking at immediately. We do not guarantee honeybee treatments.

Guarantee

Guarantee: With Mason and Mining Bees we can only reduce numbers, not eradicate. We do not guarantee honeybees.

The life cycle of bumble bees

Every autumn as the first frosts begin the mated young queens leave the old nest (which is dying out) and seek out a place to hibernate in safety. In the first warm days of spring, you may see the large queens flying busily about the early bulbs and flowers. These large slow bees are searching for nectar and pollen to turn into honey and food for their newly hatching brood. The queen will locate a suitable place to build her nest.

There are over 200 types of bumblebees and they look for a variety of sites. Because the bumblebee does not live in a large colony (compared with wasps or honey bees) the nest is usually a little bigger than half a grapefruit even in the busiest days of high Summer. The queen begins a new nest with a ball of pollen and wax into which she lays just a few (approx. 6 ) eggs at a time. When the eggs hatch they try to eat their way through the pollen reserve but the queen continually adds to the pollen and wax sealing them in. Eventually, the grubs pupate and the queen spins a bright yellow cocoon of silk from which the grubs emerge a few days later as fully grown worker bees. Workers are sterile females. As soon as they dry their wings the worker bees begin work to support the colony and their queen. She continues to lay eggs but as it takes more and more of her time the pollen and nectar collection is delegated to the workers, the queen spending her whole time in the nest. This life cycle is similar to wasps. This co-operation continues throughout the high days of late Spring and Summer until the nest has reached the right size for its species. At that point, the queen lays eggs destined to become next year’s queen bees as well as drones or male bees. The drones once hatched leave the nest and live independent lives, their only purpose being to mate with the young queens to ensure the survival of the species. Unlike honeybees, the young bumble queens will continue to live and work in the mother colony for the remainder of the Summer and Autumn. Come the first sharp drop in temperature and frosts the old queen, her workers and the independent drones will die. Only the newly mated queens will survive in hibernation to begin the cycle again the following Spring.

The life cycle of honeybees

Honeybees belong to the family of social bees which includes bumblebees and the tropical stingless bees of the genus Meliponinae. The social bees nest in colonies headed by a single fertile female, the queen, which is generally the only egg layer in the colony. Foraging for nectar and other tasks such as feeding the queen and the larvae, cleaning brood cells and removing debris, are carried out by a cast of females, the Workers. Honey and pollen are stored, and larvae are reared in cells made from wax secreted by the worker bees. Their life cycle is different from wasps and bumble bees in that the Queen will live longer than 1 year, the colony surviving in the same place for many years. Two attributes of honeybees that have been essential to their evolution and biology are their clustering behaviour, their ability to cool the nest by evaporation of water collected outside. These attributes enable the colonies to achieve a marked degree of temperature regulation within the nest irrespective of the external temperature.

Another behavioural character of honeybees is the communication of information about food sources and the recruitment of foragers by “dance language”. The accurate dissemination of information concerning the direction and distance of forage areas leads to efficient exploitation of food sources. If you have honey bees they would have probably arrived in a swarm and will establish themselves in any cavity such as a chimney, or might be hanging in a swarm waiting to move. As well as being a nuisance the honey they produce can stain paintwork and be a target for parasites. A place that has been infested by Honey bees once is likely to attract more swarms in the near future so proofing the area needs looking at immediately.